Working out with a buddy is proven to provide motivation and reinforcement to help you stick with your fitness program. But what if your workout partner doesn't live nearby? Here are some tips and strategies to workout with a long-distance fitness buddy.
One of my closest friends lives over 1000 miles away. While we used to be neighbors, our lives have taken very different paths. Luckily we see each once or twice a year, and the rest of the year we text (good-bye emails!). While we're both healthy, we'd both like to be more fit: and neither one of us likes the gym. Since we're both glued to our iPhones 24/7/365, we decided to become long-distance workout buddies. My workout partner and I use SWORKIT video apps to buddy-up for 30-day workout challenges.
Sworkit is a virtual workout studio that has a free app for your iPhone or iPad, so it’s perfect if you travel (there are both free and paid versions; we use the free version.) The app allows us to pick the area we want to concentrate on, and has different exercise programs including:
You can customize your workout time – we typically choose 14-minute workouts (Longer than 10, but less than 15: psychologically it works for us!) but you can choose as few as 5 minutes. At the completion of a workout there is an option to email your workout buddy to remind them to get their workout in – and gloat that you've finished yours!
7 Tips for Being a Good Long-Distance Fitness Buddy
1. Tell The Truth
Choose a workout partner who you trust and will be honest with: it won't help you if you're embarrassed you missed 3 workouts in a row and don't 'fess up.
2. Set Goals
Set specific goals, and share them with your fitness friend so you both can measure your progress.
3. Make It Simple to Share Progress
If it's too complicated, you'll probably quit. Texting, SnapChat and selfies can help share your progress. And many apps like Sworkit or FitBit have built-in tools to track your fitness goals with one or more friends.
4. Keep It Private
Respect your workout buddy's privacy: if she sends you a selfie of her 1st mini-marathon, don't brag about her and post on Facebook without her permission.
5. There's An App For That
Technology makes workouts and long-distance fitness buddies easy to manage. Find an exercise app that works on both your smartphones, and has built-in friend updates.
6. Be A Cheerleader
It's not all about you: give equal time to your exercise friend when discussing workout progress and setbacks. Be their biggest cheerleader when they achieve a milestone and their biggest supporter when they need to get back on track.
7. Keep It Small
Three or more fitness buddies can be fun, but it's more work to keep up with everyone. When you're beginning a long-distance fitness relationship, keep it a twosome to start.
A long-distance workout friend can help keep you both motivated and on track to meet your fitness goals. Common health goals will help you #bBetterTogether.
Catherine Russell is Būband's Content Manager