Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

When Dave and I moved to Utah, the one thing we decided to get rid of that was a big sacrifice was the treadmill. It wasn’t a big sacrifice for me, because I never used the thing, but Dave used it religiously. Every. Single. Day. We knew it wouldn’t fit in our home here (or one like it, since that one was held together with duct tape), but I knew that if there was no way Dave could exercise without me that I would feel obligated to exercise with him. And that’s the promise I made: get rid of the treadmill and I will walk with you every day.

I have often found it difficult to make the time to prioritize fitness. Between kids, work, and other demands, little time or energy is ever left over for fitness and exercise. But I have had a lot more success prioritizing my fitness since moving to Utah. Getting rid of the treadmill was the best solution, because for Dave to get his walk, I had to find a way to make time to go with him. And I do, every day.

As fitness partners, we help to keep each other motivated. We typically walk early in the morning after the kids leave for school, knowing that when the end of the day comes all we want to do is collapse. Having Dave as my exercise partner has provided motivation and has improved my likelihood of success.

Why You Need a Fitness Partner

A fitness partner can increase your commitment to exercise because whenever you feel like not working out, you will have to tell your fitness partner no. Not only will they have the opportunity to help cheer you on and keep you going, but the thought of having to disappoint your partner will make it more difficult to give up in the first place. By having someone encourage you to keep going when your motivation is lacking, you will be more likely to stick to your fitness plan and achieve your goals.

Choosing a fitness partner should be done carefully. You should choose someone who has similar goals and is at a similar fitness level as you. (Someone who jogs three miles a day when you have not walked around the block in six months may not be a compatible fitness partner, which is why I don’t exercise with my sister!).

Communication is important between training partners. Knowing your partner’s weaknesses can help you both. If your fitness partner is not an early riser, perhaps an after-dinner walk, run, or trip to the gym is more appropriate. If either of the partners are easily bored with the same exercise routines, change things up as much as possible. One day go for a walk through the park in your neighborhood; the next day, lift weights at the gym. When the weather gets colder, try walking in the mall before it opens or hit the local fitness center together.

If you are having trouble staying motivated, a fitness partner can help keep you on track. Talk to your husband or partner about your desire to get fit; maybe he or she can pull extra kitchen duty so that you can have a little more time to exercise.

A fitness partner knows how important exercise is to you. They can help you meet your goals, make exercise more fun, and keep you going when all you want to do is stop at the store and grab a bag of cookies.