Need a little extra motivation this month? Get a health buddy!

Set yourself up for "health success" by getting a "health buddy" — a friend who can help you stay motivated and accountable!

If your current health program is not working, instead of feeling frustrated and giving up, be mindful and courageous enough to say, "What I am doing is obviously not working; I need help." Don't be ashamed to ask for assistance — we are all human. We all need a little help once in a while. I love working out, but even I need a little extra motivation from time to time!

Set yourself up for success by asking a friend, colleague, or family member to be your gym buddy, accountability buddy, and/or nutrition buddy.

Gym buddies meet and work out together. You are less likely to skip your workout if you have someone waiting for you. Plus, a gym buddy can make working out more fun. I love meeting up with my friends to try fun fitness classes. If classes are not your thing, try running together, joining a sports team, or doing partner exercises at the gym. Try these three of my favourite partner exercises.

Tapping push-ups: Both you and your partner start in a push-up position from your knees or toes, heads toward each other. Both of you then bend your elbows to lower yourselves down toward the floor. As you push back up, high-five each other using your right hands. Do 10 reps, alternating hands. Keep your hips stable as you slap hands.

Partner-resist side planks: Both of your start in a side plank, facing each other, balancing on your left forearms and feet. While holding the side plank, place your right hands palm-to-palm. Holding this position, gently try to push your partner over. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. Brace yourself through your core to stay stable.

Bosu squat pass: Set up two Bosus, dome side up, about one person-length apart. Each of you starts on one Bosu, in a squat, facing each other. One person starts with the medicine ball. As you both stand up, the first person tosses the ball to the other. Both of you continue to squat and pass the ball for 12 reps.

If working out with someone doesn't appeal to you or isn't realistic, an alternative is to find an accountable buddy. An accountability buddy does exactly what the name suggests, he or she makes you accountable to someone other than yourself. Email or call each other regularly to discuss anything and everything health related. Good topics of conversation include your weekly exercise plan, your fitness goals, meal plans, possible road blocks for success, and ideas for how to overcome the roadblocks.

A nutrition buddy can materialize in different ways. For example, once a month, make a date with your buddy when you cook together and make six or eight healthy meals. There are tons of healthy soups and stews you can make in advance. Split the spoils and store the meals in your freezer. If you don't want to cook together, make food individually, then split and share what you've made. Or simply use your friend as a sounding board. Discuss healthy recipes and healthy eating strategies.

Regardless of the buddy system you chose, make sure to establish goals with your partner so that you're motivated to stay on track even when your buddy is not around. For example, sign up and commit to go to a certain fitness class each week. Agree that if your schedules don't match some weeks, you each go separately and report back.

The trick to staying on your health horse to the best of your ability is to always "set yourself up for success." One way to do this is to establish an entourage of sorts — a network of people who work together. Your friends are your friends because they care about you and want you to succeed. You care about them and want them to succeed. If a health entourage isn't your jam, that is fine, just figure out another way to set yourself up for success.

One final thought: You can't place the responsibility for your success onto your friends. Don't think that if they quit, you can quit, or that they will do the work for you. Ultimately, it is up to you to exercise and eat well.

Category: Fitness Tips
Tags:  health  motivation  tips 

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