I’m a strong believer in workout accountability partners. While I realize there are people who can keep themselves accountable everyone isn’t able.
We know the cycle.
People start a new year with all types of resolutions, commitments and such and by the end of the next month they may have even forgotten what they committed to.
It’s not a judgment but an observation. Also, if you know yourself to know if you don’t have someone waiting for you on the other end (i.e. in the gym, on the trail, in spin class) you would just do something else – then KUDOS for you.
The first part of this is recognizing where you need support.
Before I tell you HOW to find a fitness friend, let’s talk about the benefits of a fitness friend.
- They help keep you accountable 🙂
- The thought of someone waiting for you can be a big motivator to nudge you to get up and out when you don’t feel like it
- They offer encouragement when you may be feeling a bit frustrated with your progress
- They can push you to go harder with your workouts when you see how hard they push with theirs
- Hopefully your workouts are challenging enough you can’t really talk but they provide companionship during your workouts
- If no one else wants to hear about your PR they always want to hear about your PR and congratulate you about it because they can relate
So now that you know the benefits of having a fitness friend and recognize you need one, how do you go about recruiting one?
Look under your own roof. Ask your significant other, relative or friend to start a program with you.
Co-workers: Co-workers can become your noon-time fitness friend by taking a walk with you during lunch or heading to the company gym or taking an organized class on company grounds.
Group classes at the gym: I tell you I have met some of the nicest and helpful people in group gym classes. Whether it be Body Pump, spin, step aerobics I end up talking to people I find myself looking forward to seeing when I show up for class.
Neighbors: You would be surprised how many folks in your own neighborhood are living active fitness lifestyles. If you see a neighbor outside running, ask them if they would like company, etc.
Online fitness groups: Plug plug **Femme Fitale Fit Club**. If you don’t know of anyone locally to start off, go online and connect with other like-minded fitness friends whether it be a cross-fit, running, weight lifting or Zumba group.
Put a note out there and ask if there is anyone in your area who is also looking for a local accountability partner.
Now, before you do all of that, make sure you take some things into consideration as you look to find new fitness friends:
Make sure you find someone who is at your fitness level or slightly ahead – that way you will be pushed to move outside of your comfort zone. My friend is faster and stronger than me so she pushes me to get stronger and faster just to keep up with her.
Find someone who is positive in thinking, deed and words. If they are constantly negative about their progress or working out in general they will not be helpful and actually drain you because you are constantly trying to keep them motivated. Remember, they need to be a help not a hindrance.
Be sure your schedules align. If they are only available in the morning and you in the evening, then that may not be quite a match.
Find someone who is motivated and not lazy. Yes I said it.
If you find a fitness friend who is happy simply walking at a snail’s pace around the park and never interested in incorporating heavier weights, hills or jogging faster than leisurely walking then you will not improve or you may end up leaving them behind and that defeats the purpose.
If you realize you need a fitness friend or accountability partner to stay on top of your workouts then look around you for individuals who share your interest and invite them to exercise with you. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
What additional tips would you add to this list for finding a fitness friend?