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Move It or Lose it! How to Motivate a Lazy Friend to Exercise

Written on September 27, 2011 at 7:00 am , by

It's true—team work makes the dream work! (Photo courtesy of Jay Sullivan)

You’ve found yourself a workout buddy; maybe you even joined a fitness meet-up group. The problem is your workout partner would rather lift a pint of ice cream than a set of dumbbells. Before you give up on her completely, try these tips to help spur her into action. After all, one of the biggest selling points of having an exercise buddy is to keep each other motivated!

  • A compliment goes a long way: Keep a friend motivated by acknowledging the hard work she’s putting into her fitness regimen. Let her know that she rocked it in class that evening; if she’s losing weight or has more energy in her step, make sure to tell her that she looks great; if she’s sticking to a new diet regimen, acknowledge that you’re proud that she’s sticking to her goals. These small compliments make a world of difference and can be the extra little step that keeps her from throwing in the towel.
  • Create an incentive program: All work and no play can be a real drag, so make sure to reward each other for your hard work. Together, set goals with your friend; once you meet them, make sure to celebrate in some small way. Your goal can be about weight loss, hitting the gym for a certain amount of days in a month, or being able to run an 8-minute mile for 30 minutes. Whether it’s celebrating with a healthy happy hour, pedicure, or those new pair of lululemon capris, give yourself an end prize for hitting the mark!
  • Be persistent and consistent: If you’ve got a friend teetering on always choosing a session on the couch over one on the treadmill, you are going to have to be the one to wear the pants in the relationship. While it may be a little annoying to do, persistence pays off for a lot of people. Be the one to initiate plans to work out together and keep it consistent — momentum is a driving force in maintaining any good fitness routine. While your friend may be ready to slack off for the day, a little push from you might be all she needs to grab her gym bag and go.

Read on for more tips to motivate your workout buddy.

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