Fitness Partners – set your own pace

Exercising with a friend in the park, or keeping fit with a running partner

Exercising with a friend

You have probably heard that exercising with a companion is a major key to fitness and weight loss success: it’s also the basis of my profession as a personal trainer

Early this morning, under a beautiful blue sky eerily free of planes courtesy of the Icelandic volcano, I observed the many numbers of joggers in Regent’s Park, accompanied by a friend or partner.

Keeping up

Sharing the challenge of getting fit can be a fun and rewarding experience. Yet if you’re significantly less fit than your friend, it can be frustrating and carries a real risk of injury. I watched two men in their 50s jogging along. One was leading the way with his friend trying to keep up, clearly struggling, with one knee wrapped. They may have the best of intentions, but different people experience stresses on the body in different ways, especially if their body is not adapted to exercise.

Fall-back plan

If you are an exercise ingénue, don’t feel that you ought to keep up with your fitter friend even if she/he is the same age, or has a similar sedentary job. Start small and listen to your body – not theirs. If you are going running together, agree on a route in advance so that if you fall by the wayside, your friend can swing by and pick you up on the way home – or you can meet him/her at an intersection further along the route.

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