MERCED -- I say this all too often: Fitness is for life. When I get questions on my blog or emails about motivation and how to maintain an even flow of it, I cannot help but recognize it comes from a variety of factors.
Back when working out regularly with the intention to change my body as my main focus, I often workout with friends. Working out with friends can give you both the opportunity to push each other harder and the chance to socialize when your life agenda does not leave much time for catching up with friends.
One exercise that is much more doable with a friend is running stairs. Pick a set of stairs in your area -- whether at a park, stadium or, in some cases, your house -- and start making those legs burn. If the stairs are really high and steep, you can go one at a time and rest while your friend is running the stairs. You can skip one step, two steps, run the stairs, walk the stairs, bunny hop up them or even hop up them on one foot. Just don't forget to cheer on your friend! Stairs can get tedious, after all.
Another partner exercise is actually done in a plank. As you can probably already tell, I am a huge fan of the plank and all of its variations. Face your friend and hold a plank position on your hands and toes about a foot and a half away from each other. Make sure that your hands are directly under your shoulders and the rest of your body is completely tight and flat all the way through. While maintaining a plank, do alternating hand slaps. Using the same hand, reach out and tap your friends hand and then return to the plank, do both sides 20 times each and then rest. Make sure you do not rock back and forth in the plank, and make sure you are able to maintain a proper position throughout. If your low back feels uncomfortable, drop down to your knees and continue.
Riding bikes, rollerblades, and skateboarding are some of my favorite activities to do with friends. It doesn't really feel a like tedious workout when you're out with a friend enjoying the day.
My dad and I went for a bike ride the last time I was home visiting, and the time went by so fast and we got a chance to talk a little bit also. It was nice to spend time together while doing something beneficial for our bodies.
Having a friend or family member to workout with is really beneficial to your workout and your consistency with being fit. A lot of times you can get bored working out by yourself and perhaps not go as many times as you told yourself you would. Make plans to workout with a friend and you're less likely to break them because it's actually fun.
I used to meet some co-workers at spin class in college at 5:30 a.m. There was no way we were letting anyone get away with standing us up that early in the morning. It was a great time and I really fell in love with spin class after that. Bottom line, being fit with your friend is good energy; it will keep you motivated and excited to see results.
Lunden Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org