Nature's Bakery

Get Motivated! How Exercising with a Friend Can Improve Your Success

Written by Kimberly Miller and Shannon Jay Dougherty, Fit Mom Diet (FitMomDiet.com) 

There are 168 hours in a week.  According to a report on physical activity and health by the US Surgeon General, exercising thirty minutes a day is all that is required to reduce your risk of developing a variety of diseases.  Three and a half hours a week of exercise equates to 2% of an individual’s time, yet it still seems nearly impossible to get it done. 

Consider the fact that in a recent study, the top three barriers to sticking to an exercise plan included lack of time, energy and motivation.  These factors were integral reasons as to why individuals failed to stick to a program.  Eliminating these barriers would serve as a motivator to achieving health.  In walks a friend! 

Friends can be valuable motivators when it comes to developing and sticking to a fitness plan.  Dr. Mark Anshel, in an article published by the American Board of Sport Psychology, stated that “the likelihood to adhere to an exercise program increases significantly if a friend or family members accompanies the exerciser.”  Thus, working out in pairs will assist in maintaining motivation.  People often value spending time with friends.  Therefore, partnering up for exercise can not only allow for quality time together, it can also help in the pursuit of achieving fitness goals.

Developing an exercise plan with a friend promotes accountability as well.  “Having a friend or workout buddy will assist in completing your exercise,” states Jonathan Penney of the National Academy of Sport Medicine.  Friends often motivate you to work harder than you would alone.  Furthermore, exercising with a friend allows for interactive activities that get you moving in different ways.

To jumpstart your fitness goals and stay motivated through the process, grab a friend, and try the following exercise activities.

Hot Potato Plank:

Begin in pushup position, head to head with your partner approximately two feet apart. One person starts with the medicine ball under the left hand and rolls the ball to the partner’s left hand. Continue to roll the ball back and forth, alternating hands for one minute.

Lunge with Rotation & Pass:

Start side by side to your partner, approximately three feet apart.  One partner begins by holding the medicine ball with arms extended as both partners lunge forward and rotates upper body towards your body, passing ball to their partner. The partner will grab the ball and to starting position. Repeat the lunge and MB rotation pass to your partner for 30 seconds, before switching legs.

V Sit Up with Ball Rotation:

Start sitting toe to toe with your partner with knees bent and hands straight in front of you.  One person starts with a medicine ball.  Perform a crunch and pass the ball to your partner. Perform the exercise for one minute.

Tubing Squat to Row:

Stand facing your partner with two tubes crossed so they are intertwined. While holding handles in each hand, step away from each other in order to add tension. Squat with feet hip width apart, arms extended.  As you stand up, pull the band toward you in a rowing motion. Squeeze shoulder blades together, and then release arms back to starting position as you squat again. Perform the exercise for one minute.

Tubing Tricep Extension:

Stand facing your partner with two tubes crossed so they are intertwined.  Bend at the waist and keep your back flat. While holding the handles with palms facing behind you, keep the arms straight to the ground and step away from each other to add tension. Pull your arms straight back until they are parallel with your flat back. Repeat for one minute.