If your commitment to get fit and exercise more is falling by the wayside, you need a change of tack to get back on track – and what better way of doing this than by joining forces with other people to get fitter together?
Forming local or friends-based fitness groups or an online support program like the 12WBT can make the difference between pulling on your runners and getting out there or staying on the sofa. Just as you would arrange to meet for a coffee or go to the movies, making ‘appointments’ with your friends to exercise together means you are more likely to turn up and do it – because you don’t want to let them down, do you?
Once you’re all working out together, you’ll be amazed at how motivated you feel, and how much fun you have – and, with researchers finding that laughing boosts your calorific expenditure and heart rate by up to 20 per cent, this means you can have an even more effective workout!
Pick a training buddy whose goals and interests are similar to yours and who are willing to motivate you to do your best. Share your goals with each other so that you stay honest, and when one of you tries to back out of a session, the other can remind you what you are working towards. Give them permission to hassle you into getting out there and tell them not to take no for an answer.
Experts recommend that you get your heart rate up at least 30 minutes a day, on five days a week or more. This means that you should feel warmer and be breathing faster, but still be able to chat – so while you are catching up on the latest gossip, you can also be burning off those calories!
If you are new to exercise, build up steadily, perhaps starting walking or cycling, then progressing to jogging, a dance session or aerobics/circuit training in the gym. Whatever you do, by making sure that you add friends into the equation means you will be more likely to remain committed, motivated – and fitter – throughout the year.