In all of the years I have been walking, I have never had a walking buddy. Most of my friends worked full time, lived too far away, were taking care of kids or grandkids, or didn’t like to walk. That all changed two weeks ago. My best friend has always had a walking partner and the only time she and I could walk together after we both retired was on Monday afternoons. Two weeks ago her walking partner decided she didn’t want to walk anymore. So, now we walk 4 days a week. It is such a blessing to have someone to walk with. If you don’t have a walking, running, or workout buddy, find one. Both of you will benefit.
The benefits of having a walking partner are numerous. Check the list below for six reasons you and a friend should be walking together today.
When the weather turns gloomy or wet you may choose to keep your head on the pillow and sit on the couch. A walking buddy rarely lets that happen. Making sure that both of you are accountable to each other for your fitness goals keeps you on track. You can even work in a reward and punishment system for if one of you gets lazy.
After a long day at the office or a dreary night’s sleep your walk may not sound good. Little can be done to improve a mood other than the end goal in these situations. However, with a friend in tow you’re sure to be smiling soon. Whether you’re catching up on the day’s experiences or just enjoying seeing your friend. Plus, laughing increases your metabolism and burns calories.
Burn More Calories
Burning calories during exercise means creating an oxygen depletion in your body. This is a natural process of the body to use oxygen to drive aerobic activity. As your walks become more vigorous the more oxygen you’ll lose, thereby increasing the exercise’s efficiency. Talking with a buddy while you walk increases the oxygen deprivation, forcing your body to work harder and burn more calories. Keep the conversation as brisk as your steps and you’ll be tightening that belt another notch in no time.
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. Especially, when the competition is for improved health. Set goals for each other and force yourselves to stick with them. Create a reward system for the friend that is able to increase their pace or walked the most miles. It’s a great way to stay motivated during the week.
Sometimes after an injury or a bad day the thought of going for a walk seems uninspiring. On these days, when you’re hurting, a buddy is the perfect companion. Slow down the pace and take a second to talk about what’s going on in your life. Relieving all of that stress may actually help you lose weight. At the end of your time together you may actually find that you feel good in several ways, including fitting in time with a friend.
Location, Location, Location
Taking the same path every time you go for a walk can be the fastest path to boredom. Mixing it up makes the experience exciting and worth a few more extra miles on the walk. Coming up with new places early in the morning can be a chore. It’s always easier to do the same thing everyday. With a partner you’ve got double the imagination to help you come up with new paths.
This partnership can be the key to your fitness success. The motivation, care, and focus a partner brings to your walk will help you stay on track. You’ll need all of the luck in the world to keep you in bed when your partner wants to walk. There’s no choice friend, you’ve got a walking buddy. Time to hit the streets.