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Workout Buddies Bring Success

Finding a partner in exercise provides positive support and can help you head off those excuses to skip your workout.

Before I became a Curves owner 10 years ago, I was a Curves member. My business partner and I joined a club together thinking we’d have fun while getting fit.

Little did we know how much we would come to depend on each other for motivation, encouragement – and accountability? On the days when one of us didn’t feel like working out, the other would say, “Get your butt off the couch – we’re leaving in 10 minutes.”

Having an exercise buddy keeps you focused on your goals and makes the workout feel less like work. In fact, researchers at the University of California found that people who had a workout buddy were 5 times more likely to actually work out and stick to a program than those who were accountable to no one.

 The bottom line is that people will let themselves down before they will let someone else down.

 We see that at Curves. Those members who have been with us the longest are those who either come with someone they know or who have formed bonds with members they work out with on a regular basis.

 They have more fun. Their circle of accountability is wider. They come more often. And their success is greater.

 So, pair up with a workout buddy. This can be your teenage son or daughter, best friend, business partner, co-worker, neighbor, or anyone who can commit to being physically active on a regular basis.

 Keep in mind that it’s best to exercise with someone who is at or above your current fitness level. Also, since you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, make sure it’s someone whose company you enjoy.

 If you can’t think of anyone you’d like to workout with off the top of your head, you might have to actually search for someone. There are many ways you can do this:

• Meet someone in a fitness class.

• Join an exercise group.

• Sign up for a partnered sport or group lesson.

• Talk to a trainer in your club and asked if they know someone you can partner with.

 The Internet is also a good resource for finding workout buddies. Some popular sites include:

• Meetup.com

• Craigslist.org

• Exercisefriends.com

• Myworkoutspot.com

• WannaBuddy.com.

• Gymworkoutpartners.com

 Once you find your workout buddy, make a pact to work out with each other a set number of times per week. Schedule your workouts far in advance and help each other keep to them.

 And remember that encouraging words are often all it takes to help each other reach your goals.

 Laura McKellar is a health and fitness consultant and the owner of North Andover Curves, a 30-minute women's fitness center offering a total body workout. For more information about Curves, visit www.northandovercurves.com; or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurvesNA

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