Is your New Year health "pep" and dedication waning? If it is, don't worry. You are not alone. This is the time that — unfortunately — many of us fall off of our health horse. YOU do not have to fall. You just need to come up with new strategies for success. One possible strategy is to enlist a fitness buddy. A friend makes anything more fun. Plus, you are less likely to skip a workout if you are meeting someone. Meet your buddy and do fun fitness classes, or simply meet and do cardio on side-by-side machines. If you're bored with your resistance routine, try partner strength exercises. New moves might be all that is needed for you to stay invested in your workout.
"Fun" partner exercises
Tapping push-ups: Both you and your partner start in a push-up position from your knees or toes, heads toward each other. Both of you then bend your elbows to lower yourselves down toward the floor. As you push back up, high-five each other using your right hands. Do 10 reps, alternating hands. Try to keep your hips stable as you slap hands.
Partner-resist side planks: Both of your start in a side plank, facing each other, balancing on your left forearms and feet. While holding the side plank, place your right hands palm-to-palm. Holding this position, gently try to push your partner over. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. Brace yourself through your core to stay stable.
Bosu squat pass: Set up two Bosus, dome side up, about one person-length apart. Each of you starts on one Bosu, in a squat, facing each other. One person starts with a medicine ball. As you both stand up, the first person tosses the ball to the other. Both of you continue to squat and pass the ball for 12 reps.
Plank medicine-ball roll: Both partners start in a plank position, on hands and toes. Face away from each other, feet touching. Partner A has the medicine ball under their right hand, then rolls the ball under both partners so that partner B has to stop the medicine ball with their hand. Partner B then rolls the ball back to partner A. Keep the hips still and continue to roll the ball back and forth for 20 to 60 seconds.
V-sit partner toss: Face your partner in the V-sit position. Sit on your bum facing your partner, chest out, core engaged. Start with your feet on the ground, knees bent. Toss the ball back and forth. For an added challenge, lift one or both legs.
A few other things to keep in mind
Try making cardio intervals a fun "game" with your partner. Do this running or biking outside, or on any indoor cardio machine. Just make sure you are next to each other so you can communicate. Start after a warm-up with each partner taking turns being the "trainer" and saying "go." If outside, sprint toward a destination of the trainer's choice. Inside, speed up on your machine for however long the trainer decides. The trainer can make the workout as hard or as easy as they want by changing how often, and how long, the intervals are!
Establish goals with your partner so that you're motivated to stay on track even when your buddy is not around. For example, sign up for a class and commit to go to a certain number of classes per week. If your schedules don't match some weeks, agree to go separately and report back.
If working out with someone doesn't appeal to you or isn't realistic, an alternative is to find an accountability buddy. An accountability buddy does exactly what the name suggests: He or she makes you accountable to someone other than yourself. Email or call each other regularly to discuss anything and everything health related. Good topics of conversation include your weekly exercise plan, your fitness goals, meal plans, possible road blocks for success, and ideas for how to overcome the roadblocks.
Or, get a nutrition buddy. Make semi-regular dates with your buddy to cook together. Make six or eight healthy meals. Split the spoils and store the meals in your freezer. There are tons of healthy soups and stews you can make in advance. If you don't want to cook together, make food individually, then split and share the spoils. Or, simply use your friend as a sounding board to discuss healthy recipes and healthy eating strategies.