Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Would you like to have some help in sticking to your walking commitment?
One of the very best ways to make sure you take your walks is to find a walking partner or a walking buddy. Scheduling your walks and having someone waiting for you is very motivating!
You and your walking partner can help each other every day. Walking together is a great way to connect and bond, so the first place you should look is with your friends and family. You might find that the perfect partner for you to walk with is already there!
So, ask them. Ask everyone you know. Start in your house; expand to your neighbors, coworkers, extended family and friends. If they agree, great! You are ready to get to training with your walking buddy.
Don’t be upset if they decline, though. Not everyone is on the same level of the path at the same time, and that is okay. Continue to walk and take care of yourself and you will be a great example for them to find their own exercise plan. And, continue down your list to find someone else to walk with you.
Suppose everyone you know just doesn’t want to or for some reason, can’t walk with you? Look a little farther if you want a partner. Tell the people in your circle to ask the people they know. Maybe your doctor’s niece or your mailman’s mom needs a walking partner, too. And, you can have a walking partner that you don’t even walk with. An email, forum or even telephone walking buddy can provide many of the same benefits from a distance. You still have someone you can share your goals with and someone who will check in with you to make sure you are sticking with it. And, of course, you’ll return the favor!
Once you find a walking buddy, you can then decide when and where the two (or more) of you will walk. It might be that you can only walk together on weekends and will do individual walking during the week. Or, you might decided to walk outside, weather permitting and meet at someone’s house if weather is bad so you can share a walking DVD. Explore your resources together and devise a plan that helps you both meet your goals.
You should also set some guidelines for canceling or changing a walk. Swap phone numbers and email addresses so you can keep in touch. That way, one of you doesn’t show up waiting for the other who cannot make it. You can also check in with each other to support and encourage each other in your own individual goals.
It can be fun to set some goals together, too. Perhaps the two of you can train for a 5K a few months from now. Or, maybe you can walk to raise money for a cause you both believe in. Maybe your goal is to log 20 miles a month or 600 miles a year. Having a common goal is fun and exciting!
If you are working with a “virtual” or “distant” partner, maybe you can agree to meet in the middle for a real walk together once you meet some separate goals.
One additional source for walking buddies is the BellaOnline Walking Forum. Join us there for support, encouragement, tips, and yes, walking partners!
Leslie Sansone can be your walking partner, too. She’s very high energy and makes you feel so good to be walking! Plus, you can do it right there in front of the TV!