Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Health Essential: A Workout Buddy!

There may be some really self-motivated people out there who can always eat healthy and work out like fiends without the support and encouragement from any family or friends. I would tend to say most of us need someone to lean on...not in the way that we are making panic calls at 2 a.m. to keep us away from the ice cream in the freezer, but just a friend to check in with and keep us on the right path.

I am so lucky to have a girlfriend that lives about 10 minutes away that is that person for me. We get together about 3x per week for some type of fitness activity (running, hiking or walking). About once each winter we try to hit the slopes together and enjoy snow skiing, as we have for about 20 years. During our runs and hikes we always talk to each other about what has been going on, including what we've been eating and other exercises we have done outside of what we do together.

Does this sound boring to you? I guess I can see how it possibly would but for me, she is a lifesaver! Its fun to discuss skin care, recipes, yoga, weight gain/loss, green living and general health. As we start our 40's there are things we need to keep an eye on that we never have before. We are at the age where we are having mammograms (well I haven't had my first one yet, but I plan to soon)and having conversations about people we know with cervical and breast cancer, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. We also realize we are in the critical years for retirement savings. We motivate each other, but also keep each other informed on the latest health news.

I guess we are getting older and more responsible than ever now, so these topics are actually interesting to us. We appreciate each other and the fact that we are both fitness and health focused. Not calorie counting maniacs discussing the latest diet craze, but friends who try to get together to work out as often as possible and support each other in our healthful endeavors. We talk about plenty of other things too, my kids, her cats, politics, restaurants we love, wine and cocktails.

Having a network of some sort helps to keep you in check. It can even be a virtual network - a blog you follow, an online weight-watching program, etc. The key is to find support and motivation whatever way you can get it, in a way that gets you moving in the right direction.

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