Song of Inspiration: Lean on Me by Bill Withers
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
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There’s no doubt about it. We all need someone to lean on. Do you think about this when it comes to your physical health? Or do you go at it alone?
An accountability partner is someone we should consider having in our life. Perhaps having someone different for the different areas in our lives. For example, we can have someone hold us accountable for our professional goals. We can have someone different hold us accountable for our personal goals of getting things checked off our to-do lists (or bucket list).
No matter where you are in life, we could all use someone in our corner because we are not designed to do ALL things on our own.
While it may be easy to go for a walk or to the gym by ourselves, getting past a certain level takes more effort, and sometimes, some encouragement from others.
If you are not physically working out with someone else, going at it knowing someone else knows what you are doing could prove to be beneficial. Letting others in, especially on goals you want to tackle (big or small, great importance to very little) is a great way to get and stay on track.
Even if you are a highly disciplined individual, having someone to relate your progress to has its advantages. When you have routine check-ins to update your progress or challenges, you are allowing an opportunity for reflection and growth.
Take it a step further (literally) by seeking a workout partner.
If you are struggling to start or maintain your workout regime, ask a friend to join you. The first step is getting out there. Maintaining your routine can come with a familiar face making the effort with you. It also helps seeing and being around others with the same goals in mind.
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With a workout partner, you will:
Push each other.
Sometimes we need that extra push to get us to the next level. There is nothing wrong with having someone by your side, cheering you on and encouraging you along the way. Likewise, when you push someone, you are also encouraging yourself. The same words and energy you put out there is for your benefit as well. There are some things we can easily do on our own. There are also some things that make us better when we have someone there right along with us.
Makes working out more enjoyable
What do you typically do to make it through a workout? Listen to music? Nothing like a great playlist to get you through your workout. But you can keep the playlist AND have someone there to join in on the lyrics. Bring down (or kick up) that heart rate with a quick rendition of your favorite song.
Frees up your calendar for social time if you workout with your friends
Did you know that if you are running you should go at a pace that allows you to have a casual conversation? If this is the case, casual conversation can and should happen while working out. You no longer have to wonder when the next time you’ll be free to see each other because you will already have built in that time together.
Choosing a workout accountability partner.
Let’s be honest. Not all accountability partners are created equal. Especially when you consider time and energy.
Before asking just anybody to join you, consider the following.
Choosing the right workout that works for the both of you. You may be just starting out and they may be more advanced in a certain physical activity. If that is the case, choose something fun that the both of you will enjoy so that it does not become a one and done situation because you are modifying your workout to accommodate their abilities and vice versa.
If you find that you are doing most of the encouraging, then you have become a coach/trainer rather than an accountability partner. The same is true if the other person is doing the same for you. Accountability partners come in to benefit each other. As long as the differences in physical abilities are not so drastic that it becomes a coaching session, you and your chosen accountability partner should be good.
You want someone who is equally committed to meeting with you and who has the same or very similar goals in mind. If your goal is to lose weight, you're in luck with an accountability partner. “One study found that 95% of those who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program.”
If your goal is to run a marathon, training with someone who has the same goal makes for a great accountability partner. You both know the end game with how many miles you will run at the actual event. Deciding on how to maintain accountability will be up to you. Will you train together or just do check-ins? Or a combination of both? Either way, having someone on the journey with you is a great benefit.
One last thing about goals. This time with food in mind. Let’s not forget about the after workout snack. You want to make sure the person you bring along for your journey is equally invested in their health AND nutrition. Otherwise, that workout you just did was for naught.
Both you and your accountability partner will need to be on the same page in terms of how often you will meet up. It can be easy to become discouraged due to lack of commitment, so this is an important factor to consider.
If you can only meet up once or twice a week, stick to that. It doesn’t have to be a complicated time commitment. Nothing says incompatible than scheduling to meet up for your physical health, only to wait on someone else to get their stuff together.
Getting together should not feel like a chore. Your time is valuable and so is the other person’s.
Other ways to think of accountability partners.
Personal trainers can and will keep you accountable, especially when you are paying them. They will push you and make sure you are getting what you signed up for. When you invest in a personal trainer, you are investing in a workout partner. That’s a given.
Another way to start and keep up with your workouts is to join a class. Classes provide that group dynamic which may be what your workout needs, especially if you like working out solo. Breaking up the monotony with a group setting is a great way to reset and recharge. Who knows. You just may find someone there who can easily become an accountability partner.
If you are someone who prefers to workout alone. Cool. Here’s a challenge for ya: try working out with someone who will challenge you a bit more than you challenge yourself. Plus, it’s fun to change up the routine. A friendly competition is good sometimes.
Working out with someone else contributes to not only increased physical health benefits, but also overall mood. So grab your girls and
“We all need somebody to lean on.”
Go ahead. Find your somebody. Or be a somebody to someone else.
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