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Social Networking – How Friends Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goal

Sunday, February 18, 2018

 

When it comes to health and fitness: the buddy system really works, especially if you live in a state like Oregon – a state that provides residents with an endless amount of outdoor activity. That’s because you’re less likely to back out of a fitness class if your best friend is signed up with you. Who would’ve thought having a friend on broad for afternoon smoothies could keep you from reaching for junk food? So, it only makes sense that when it comes to fitness goals – or any goals for that matter – you shouldn’t do it alone.

According to Paul B. Davidson, Ph. D., involving other people in your goals – by asking them to participate or just sharing your plans with them – is a key part of reaching them. To put it another way, when you share your fitness plans with someone, you’re making a verbal commitment to yourself and those around you to fulfill your goals.

If you’ve been thinking about exploring ways to push yourself mentally and physically, then a workout partner just might be the answer. We all enjoy time with close friends and family, so why not combine the two? After all, a workout partner not only improves emotional intelligence, but helps you increase your fitness level as well by building a support group around you, and encouraging teamwork. So whether you’re looking to lose weight and tone your muscles or just improve your overall health, a partner in the weight room will benefit you in a number of ways.

A Partner Will Help Keep You Motivated: Weight loss has never been an easy task for most individuals, especially if you’re trying to do it safely. One reason is that a lot of diets flat out don’t work. Another reason is peer pressure – a feeling that doesn’t end in adulthood. Peer pressure in this case, however, is used to influence our behavior – in a positive way, of course. Normally, when someone works out alone, they might start to lose motivation, which can quickly turn into a snowball effect. After skipping one workout, you might then skip two, and before you know it, you’re paying for a membership you don’t even use. Does this sound familiar?

Fortunately, when you work out with someone else, they’ll keep you motivated –  the same way you’ll keep them motivated when they don’t want to go to the gym. This means that as you strive to achieve your fitness goals, you’re also helping someone else reach theirs.

Encourage One Another to Make Healthier Choices: Of all the benefits that come with working out with a partner, perhaps the greatest is sharing similar goals – you both want to improve your overall health. This means that when you’re both together, you’ll support one another mentally and physically to make better choices. Of course, you both will push each other physically, but you will also help each other get on track in terms of dieting.

If you’ve worked out for a long period of time, you might be tempted to drink a soda or get some ice cream as a treat for burning so many calories. But with your partner by your side, you’re much more likely to pass this low-nutrient snack and get something more beneficial to the body – that contains protein, calcium, and vitamin B.

Safety Knowledge Increases: Generally speaking, when most people go to the gym, the last thing they think about is their safety, despite all the heavy equipment and weights being tossed around. That said, whether you’re biking, canoeing, hiking or in the gym, a buddy is always a good idea in terms of safety, especially when you’re working out for long periods of time.

If you’re not one to spend a lot of time in the weight room, don’t worry; a workout partner will still help you in the long run. One way, in particular, they can help you is by being a spotter when you’re doing squats, deadlifts, or working with dumbbells. Needless to say, the buddy system is always beneficial when it comes to fitness.

Training No Longer Feels Like a Dreadful Task: What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “weight training”? Do you get pumped up and excited? Or does your mind go to a dark place where no creature should go? Hopefully, it’s the first answer. That’s because one way to increase the fun factor of hitting the gym and coming up with new ways to modify your workout is by doing it together – with a partner.

So instead of doing a solo curl challenge, try doing it with a partner. When you’re doing curls, for example, they can work out with the medicine ball, and when you’re done, you can switch. Or you both can toss a ball back and forth while doing sit-ups. There are a lot of ways you can shake up your “weight training” plan while making the process fun. But the craziest and most fun ideas usually come when you brainstorm with a partner. These change-ups will make the workout fly and provide you with ways to stay fit despite the hectic schedule you and your partner might have. The best part is you didn’t even have to look at the clock during your workout.   

Celebrate with Your Workout Buddy: You shouldn’t endure months of weight training without a proper celebration. Right? So whenever small milestones are met, view them as an opportunity to reward what’s been accomplished. By doing this, you will continue to push yourself towards the finish line and help you feel accomplished throughout the process as well.

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

Prev Next

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

Prev Next

SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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