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The Buddy System: Exercising with a Friend — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 20, 2011 at 1:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Buddy System: Exercising with a Friend

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Safety and motivation are two important factors to consider when designing an exercise program. Unfortunately, many people are unsure about how to make their workouts safer and more inspiring. There are several ideas that can be implemented into your current physical activities, but one of the easiest ways to solve both problems is to exercise with someone else.

Safety

No matter what type of exercise you are doing, having another person there is a great way to avoid injuries. Improper form can often be more noticeable to an observer than it is to the person actually performing the exercise. Trying to handle too much resistance without using the correct form is a common way to pull muscles or damage joints. Also, it is much safer to participate in outdoor activities with other people. Whether it is because of the precautions you should take at night or weather concerns, an exercise partner decreases the risks. On hot days, be sure to look out for each other and give reminders about water replenishment, rests, and signs of heat illnesses. If it is cold outside, check for frostbite, freezing temperatures, and the right amount of clothing.

Motivation

During the day, things can happen that might distract you from your workouts. For example, if you are busy or running late, you may decide to skip the exercise you had planned for that day. However, if you knew that someone was depending on you, it is likely to motivate you to keep the appointment. This works both ways as you will be motivating them as well. Healthy competition can take your workouts to a new level and push you to achieve your fitness goals. While it is never a good idea to compare yourself with anyone else, a friendly form of inspiration will help your performance. The key is to always be in control of your movements and understand your limits.

Fun

Besides safety and motivation, exercising with someone else is fun. Some people complain about their loss of attention during workouts because they are bored. With another person there, exercising will become more exciting. Just be sure to stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish with the activity. It is possible to become preoccupied or distracted by talking to a person too much. Having an exercise partner should be a balance between fun and the original intent of the workout.

Activities

Basically, almost any sport or activity that you can do by yourself can also be done with a friend. Walking, running, and bicycle riding are among the most popular choices for pairs or groups. In addition, swimming with another person is an excellent way to stay safe in the water. And of course, aerobics, yoga, and weight training are all activities that can be more fun and exciting with the right person around you. Eventually, you will become used to the company and look forward to your next exercise session. People of all ages should be getting at least 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity per day for 4 to 5 days a week. Check with your doctor or personal trainer to see which exercises are right for you and your buddy.

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/SM00085_D

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ00316

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ00316/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/HQ01681

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/HQ01543

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