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Making Time for Fitness - Fun with Friends


When we are children, we have ample opportunity to incorporate movement with our friends. Even if you never joined a sports team, there was plenty of time for fun with informal forms of movement - hopscotch, tag, skipping rope, hide and seek, playing at the plaground, etc. In adulthood we are juggling a lot of responsibilities, and these spontaneous opportunities happen rarely, if at all. Another challenge of having a job, kids, etc., is making time to keep up friendships. One of the best ways I've found to get exercise and stay connected with friends is to exercise with them.



The benefits of exercising with friends:

  • fun - exercise becomes less of a "have to" and more of a "want to"

  • consistency - if you're a social person, it makes the exercise habit easier because you it becomes built into your weekly routine

  • support - it's a chance to vent/share whatever challenges you are currently experiencing and perhaps get some sage advice

  • growth - often pushes you outside your comfort zone to try something new

  • strengthens your friendships and your health!



Specific ideas that clients and I have tried:

  • Weekly catch up over a run or walk (and post run coffee!)

  • Walking your dog

  • Lifting with a partner or two (or a group, if you can find a class)

  • Running the stairs at a local school's track

  • Meet up with another family to hike together

  • Train together for an event - 5K, obstacle course, triathlon, marathon

  • Meet up with other parents at the playground with the school age kids, and do some simple exercises together while the kids play



Tips on finding exercise buddies

  • If you'd like to be part of a larger group, join a local road or trail running club, hiking club

  • take a leadership role, and invite your friends to exercise with you; one of the upsides of this is that you can reach out with days and times that work for your schedule

  • if you know a local personal trainer, reach out to see if they have anyone else looking for small group training

  • talk to the that co-worker or friend who's been talking about their exercise class and ask if they can bring you along to give it a go

  • sign up for a series of lessons/classes in something you're interested in- tai chi, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, yoga, skiing - with or without a friend, and make some new fit friends


In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look (move) around once in awhile, you could miss it."


If you'd like to join on online community of women who are following the same strength training program, check out my free Facebook group, Find Your Strength.
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