a workout partner is a great way to stay on track to meet your goals.
"If you know that somebody is coming to your house and says, ‘Let’s
go,’ that’s the biggest thing," says Alex Shapsis, fitness
director at Elite Sports Clubs in Mequon and Glendale.
"Otherwise, it’s easy to lose your motivation."
owner of Athletic Mind, a performance and motivational consulting
company in Hartland, adds another item to the buddy benefit list:
women are vulnerable in quiet parks and even on very public
paths," she explains. "You will have that extra security
with a friend by your side."
Experts weigh in
with other suggestions to make exercise time enjoyable and successful.
partner or group can bring out the kid in you. Give these childlike
diversions a try to spice up your exercise:
• Recess games
like tag or capture the flag will incorporate sprints into a training
• Gym class
classics such as push-ups, chin-ups, squats, plyometrics and jumping
jacks can be done during a break from cycling or running — many
county parks have the equipment you’ll need.
party games like Simon Says, copycat or mirror help you compare your
form to others’ and identify flaws.
Even if you and
your friends have different fitness goals, you still can train
together. Consider these workout work-arounds:
• If you’re
training for a triathlon and your friend doesn’t bike, she can join
the running portion of the workout.
• You can run
with your faster friend on his taper day, which typically is a slower
or shorter run.
strength training but your friend isn’t? Get together for a walk or
run before or after to extend your workout.
benefit of working out, some say, is the afterburn, when the
body continues to burn calories hours after you’ve showered
and moved on with your busy day. But how to get there?
heart-rate monitor is the key at the new Orangetheory Fitness in
Brookfield. Workouts are organized in hour-long group classes,
with each participant’s heart rate displayed on video boards.
"The instructor tells everyone what pace to be relative to
where you are as an individual," says owner Kevin Scharnek.
"You don’t have to worry about the woman next to you who’s
an Ironman triathlete — you don’t have to keep up with
part of a national chain, takes its name from the orange zone on
a Polar-brand heart-rate monitor; that color represents 80-90
percent of maximum heart rate. Most Orangetheory members have
never used a heart-rate monitor, but, says Scharnek, a former
collegiate high jumper, "high-endurance athletes are
familiar with them, and use them because they work." For
more information go to www.orangetheoryfitness.com