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Fitness is fun when you include a partner. Using these six tips will help get your friends up off the couch and into a workout with you.
You know why you should be active, but now it’s time to spread your knowledge and help your friends and family in on the action. When you dedicate your time and energy to improving your health, the results are often visible for all to see. Your improved confidence, body image and glowing skin may be all the convincing those around you need to see. But for your friends and family members who are reluctant to get active, you may need to use some additional convincing tactics to help get them going.
Right after a workout is the perfect time to talk with a friend about how great you feel. Try to meet up with or call them right after your workout. The energy boost you get right afterward is very natural, so they’ll hear or feel the positive energy radiating from you and share in your enthusiasm. It’s the perfect time to invite them to join you for your next gym session to do a partner workout.
Be a great friend to someone who may be feeling stressed out or down. Tell them that you’ll be the perfect listener on the go by taking them for a walk or hike for some fresh air. Having a gym partner doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be confined to an indoor gym. Share with your friend that the path to a better mood can be as simple as just getting outside and being active. When you’re active, it promotes the release of natural, feel-good hormones in your body.
If you and your friends attend a party and indulged a little too much, you can suggest continuing the party the next morning with a workout or healthy breakfast to get back on the right track. Your friends may dislike the idea of waking up early after a night out, but once they’re awake and ready to go they’ll thank you. You may even find a regular gym partner for weekends because of this suggestion.
So often we’ll happily help a friend get motivated to work out, but we don’t keep that momentum going when it comes to ourselves. If you feel that you need a gym partner to keep you on track, ask an inactive friend to come and support you. You’ll be helping them to get moving as they help you keep moving. I know that so many people tend to gravitate toward their fitness savvy friends when they need motivation, but an inactive friend can give you just as much support. It may motivate them to take action and improve their own habits, too.
When you start living a healthy, active life, friends might become worried or threatened by the changes that you’re making. If you know that your new active lifestyle may take you away from your regular friends and family activities, try to communicate your goals. Make an effort to invite an occasional gym partner to join you whenever possible.
There’s nothing more appealing than wonderful workout clothes. One of the best ways to inspire a friend to get active is to take them shopping for new fitness apparel and shoes. Once they find the perfect outfit, they’ll need a good excuse to wear it. At that point, you can simply suggest a great spin class or hike they can try with you.
We’re all motivated by different factors. As you become more healthy and fit, it’s natural for you to want to shout about it from the rooftops, and have your nearest and dearest experience the same positive feelings. From my experience, if you truly want to help people in your life to adopt healthier habits, you must keep your thoughts and opinions very positive and encouraging. No one likes to be told that their current lifestyle is bad. To convince a friend to be your gym partner, use gentle persuasion. Encourage your family and friends with positive and fun ideas to help them achieve long-term health changes at their own pace.
That old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind. My takeaway quote for you is “If you keep leading by example, eventually your loved ones will join you.”
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).