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Why Fitness is Important for You to Make Your Life Better

I cannot stress enough how much having a workout buddy has helped me with my fitness goals.  When I think back to the times when I was in the best shape of my life, I think of (1) my senior year of college and (2) last year, when I was clerking for a federal judge in PA. I had a workout buddy during both of these times. In college, I made a girlfriend of mine be my gym buddy and we would force each other to the gym, even when we really didn’t want to go, and would constantly keep each other motivated.

Last year, I was living far away from all of my friends and family, so my workout buddy was my brother-in-law, who lived across the country in California. We both committed to losing weight and getting in shape, so we constantly tracked each other’s meals on an AMAZING app called MyFitnessPal (I highly recommend getting this!), and checked in with each other on our workouts. MyFitnessPal is essentially an app you can download for your phone where you log your meals and it tells you how many calories each meal is. You can also log workouts and link it to your FitBit, Jawbone, or equivalent and it will log calories burned. You can then connect with friends and track each other’s calorie intakes. It sounds a bit big-brotherish, which it is, but I found it incredibly helpful. For example, I still recall having an office party at work in PA and devouring a good, solid 3 slices of cake for my lunch. It was maybe some of the best cake I have ever had. Anyway, I logged it in MyFitnessPal and of course, my brother-in-law teased me about it the next day when he saw it in his app and I was so ashamed, that the next few days, I made sure to avoid the sugary sweets and stuck to my healthy, prepped meals. Knowing someone was going to see what I was eating really made me second-guess what I put in my body.

Getting motivated to go to the gym was still hard at times while I was in PA, though, since my brother-in-law wasn’t physically there. However, once I started working with a trainer, things got easier. My trainer held me accountable and I was always too ashamed to cancel on my trainer last minute, so having scheduled times where I knew I was going to work out with someone who I knew would hold me accountable really kept me on top of my game. There were also friends I came to make at the gym that would go at the same times when I would go, so when one of us wasn’t there, we’d always tease each other about it the next day, which kept me from skipping many a morning when I just wanted to sleep in! Below is a photo of me and my workout buddies from when I was in PA. I miss them so much!

Now that I’m trying to get back into shape, I reached out to my brother-in-law to start back up on our fitness journey again. We reconnected on MyFitnessPal, which I have connected to my FitBit and he has connected to his Jawbone. We also log our workouts in the exercise notes of the fitness pal app, since my FitBit doesn’t track strength training or heart rate.

I also started seeing a trainer at my office gym, who is fabulous. Every week, I sit down with him to schedule 2-3 training sessions for the next week to make sure that by the time the next week rolls around, I have a plan of when I’m going to work out that I can stick to and that he can hold me accountable to. It’s only been a week so far but it’s been great. We had 3 sessions last week and are having 2 sessions this week. I had my first of two this morning and it felt great! I didn’t get much sleep last night so I slept in later than I would’ve liked this morning, but then remembered I had a training session scheduled so I hopped out of bed and booked it to the office gym to meet him. Had I not had that session scheduled, I probably would’ve kept sleeping and skipped. Yikes!

I also feel like having a trainer or workout buddy with me while I work out helps. I really noticed it this past weekend when I went to the gym by myself. When I was alone, I didn’t have my trainer right there right next to me, pushing me to “grind it out” (that’s a common phrase he uses when I start to struggle with the last few reps), which made it difficult to keep pushing myself when I got tired. I probably didn’t do as many reps or go as high in weight as I would’ve had he been there. I must stress that I don’t think hiring a trainer is necessary, though. Even just having a friend there with you helps.

So go out and find your workout buddy! I promise you it will make a world of difference! Commitment is great, but it’s even better when it’s combined with support. =)


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