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A Health and Fitness Journey
Bring a Friend Along
Part 1 of 1
By: Jackie Wright

One of the most effective methods of achieving and adhering to a fitness lifestyle is to exercise with a friend or loved one - everyone benefits. And, if you have already integrated health and fitness into your life, consistently, it might be time to introduce those benefits to your friends and loved ones.

Therefore, featured this week are ten great ideas to help you encourage someone you care about to join your fantastic health and fitness journey. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Ten Great Ideas of Encouragement

  • Assuming you have embraced a healthy/fit lifestyle and are enjoying all of the benefits, think of five friends that you know who have not. Ask one of them out for coffee one day after your workout and encourage them to join you next time. If they are reluctant, most health clubs and fitness studios offer a complimentary class session or at least the opportunity to observe a class for newcomers. Check out the policy and then, if they are willing, bring them along. *A fitness assessment should be required prior to attendance, so find out what the process is prior to inviting them to join you. Be informed and keep it simple.
  • Many times what deters someone from pursuing an exercise program is walking through the door alone. With you along, many of those fears may dissipate.
  • Encourage them to begin slowly - assuring them that after the first few workouts, there will be less of a learning curve creating a more enjoyable experience. Even if you are not attending a fitness class or personal training session, introducing them to an outdoor walking, cycling, or hiking program might be just the ticket to address their health/fitness needs.
  • If they have significant physical limitations and your program is a bit too strenuous for them, then help them to seek out a qualified, certified and experienced personal trainer who is an expert at working with those with similar limitations to design a personal program.
  • Once you get them in the door, and they are progressing well, then start on friend number two and go from there. *Many facilities offer referral programs - another win-win!
  • If your new recruit falls off track, do not give up on them. Relapses happen to just about everyone. Therefore, just keep encouraging them, using positive motivation techniques and, in most cases, they will get back on track with you.
  • Set up plan B, C and D so that when life happens, and it will for all of you, there is an alternative plan in place. Agree upon it together and be accountable to one another.
  • Keep the workouts varied. This is critical for safety/effectiveness but it also prevents boredom and burnout leading to exercise drop out.
  • Discuss your likes and dislikes helping you determine what direction to head together.
  • Then, choose programs and locations to keep your programs fresh and your results outstanding. This will enable you to continue spreading the good health and fitness message to those who have not taken the plunge.
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