Making a healthy lifestyle change can be hard work. But you don’t have to do it alone. Research shows that working out with a friend makes us more likely to show up and follow through. It also keeps us motivated and can make exercising more fun!
Let’s explore how you can stay connected to your friends and loved ones while sticking to your fitness goals.
Enlist a Buddy
Turn exercise into a team sport. You could:
- Ask a coworker if they’re okay with turning your usual sit-down meeting into a walking meeting.
- Plan an evening stroll around the neighborhood with your partner, your kids, or your dog.
- Sign up for a fitness class at your local gym or community center.
- Ask a friend to become your workout buddy so you two can support each other ― and help each other stick to it.
- Walk while you talk on the phone. Even if your buddy isn’t right next to you, they can still help motivate you!
Sidestep the Naysayers
What if your friends and family hold you back from your fitness goals? Perhaps they tempt you to skip your exercise plans so you can spend time with them instead. Or maybe they even discourage you from making healthy changes.
If that’s the case, be a good friend to yourself first. Tell them something like:
- “I’d love to come out for drinks with you, I just need to exercise first. I’ll meet up with you afterward.”
- “Thanks for the offer to hang out, but I’m not up for a TV binge tonight. I’ve got to stick to my exercise plan. But you’re welcome to join me!”
- “It annoys me when you say my exercise plan won’t make a difference or that it’s pointless. Friends encourage each other. That’s the kind of support I need from you.”
- Or something in your own words!