Grab a partner and stay fit this festive season

Picture: iStock

Picture: iStock

When you are struggling to keep up, your training partner should be there to support you and give you encouragement to keep going.

As the year wraps up and we enter the festive season, we will soon head off to our various holiday destinations. It will also start taking a lot more effort to keep up the regular exercise routine.

The best thing to arm yourself with is a training partner, whether it is your significant other, a friend or your children.

One of the best advantages of training with a partner is that you are there to hold each other accountable when one of you slips up. It’s very easy to start making excuses to skip training sessions for various reasons.

One of the main excuses during holidays is that many of us have a tendency to think that everything must go on holiday, including regular exercise. What we don’t realise is that holding off on exercise and healthy eating during these periods is simply creating more work for ourselves after the festive period passes.

To put it into perspective, a 30-minute workout is only 2% of your 24-hour day and a 60-minute one only 4%. That is only 2% or 4% of your day so we really have no excuse. Just make time.

The first step is to decide on a training schedule and diarise the training sessions. For example, you might decide on a walk or run on Mondays, an aerobics class at the gym on Wednesdays and a fun partner workout session at home on Saturdays.

Once you have a schedule, you then know that you are committed to each other on those particular days. Treat these appointments with your training partner with the utmost respect because they are for your health and general wellbeing. In fact, treat them as you would an important work meeting and schedule the sessions in your diary.

Your training partner is also there to be your support structure and your cheerleader. When you are struggling to keep up, they should be there to support you and give you encouragement to keep going. When you reach certain goals like completing a run a minute faster or being able to do that extra push up or burpee, they are there to cheer you on and congratulate you.

Of course, this should work both ways so do the same for your partner. You also need to remember that your training partner is most probably not on the exact same fitness level as you.

The second step is to set individual goals and partner goals. For example, if you are both runners and one of you runs 10km in 50 minutes and the other runs it in 65 minutes, the slower runner’s goal may be to work on cutting five or 10 minutes of their time. With that being said, the faster runner will need to accommodate his or her partner by slowing down a little but keeping a fast enough pace to help the partner improve their time.

The third step is to remember to have fun together. One on one partner exercises are a fun way to bond with your partner while exercising. There is a long list of partner exercises online but here are a few partner exercises for you to try during the holidays.

Beginner:

  • Partner squats;
  • High-five sit-ups;
  • Back to back squats;

Intermediate:

  • Partner reverse lunges;
  • Medicine ball twist passes;
  • High-five pushups;

Advanced:

  • Plank and pushups;
  • High-five burpees; and
  • Partner reverse crunch leg throws.

Letshego is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu Twitter: @letshegom Facebook: Letshego Zulu

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