Health & FitnessLife & Style

A little help from your friends

You’ve got new workout clothes and a new gym membership, and one day you wake up and get out of bed and make the decision to go to an aerobics/yoga/toning class. You go, you do your best, you feel great. But while it’s a good start, unfortunately, it is just that — a start.

To get in shape, you have to make that decision every single day. Again and again, you have to get out of bed and put on the clothes and head to the gym or walk the track, or whatever sport you’ve chosen to pursue.

And it is in maintaining that continuity that most people have particular trouble. Sherif Adam, personal trainer and fitness guru, says one of the best workout motivators is a workout buddy.

“There are two kinds of workout partners, the kind who follow your sport and the kind who follow you,” Adam says.

He explains that your friends may keep you motivated for a while, but when you could just as easily have coffee or go out for pizza, working out together may not be that exciting.

“The best workout buddy merely shares your love of a sport. This is the kind of buddy you’ll worry about standing up and who you’ll try to impress,” he says.

Convinced you should do it on your own? Check out Adam’s top five reasons you need a buddy:

1. You can enjoy your achievements together

Celebrating your progress alone isn’t as much fun as it is with someone who knows how much you’ve done. You and your partner can set goals for yourselves and celebrate every few weeks, after you’ve met those goals.

2. Time will go by faster

Working out with someone fun can make your workout time go by much more quickly. When you work out alone, it’s easy to watch the clock and feel the time drag by. That feeling of dread can make it harder for you to summon the motivation to work out.

3. Pushing the limits

“Every individual psychologically imposes limits on their bodies,” says Adam. You might believe you can only run for 10 minutes, but with someone else, competition kicks in, and 10 minutes can become 15.

4. Responsibility

Working out with another person adds accountability to your workout. If you have plans with someone, it makes it that much harder to back out. You become accountable for your workouts, and being on a set time and schedule will make you more likely to follow through.

5. New workout tricks

Having another person to go to the gym with is something that is really going to open up more doors than you think. Combining resources on workout routines, diets and nutrition can change your habits and accelerate achievement of fitness goals.

This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition.

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