In this hot and humid summer we’re having, with a crazy schedule, it’s been difficult to fit in my regular amount of exercise. At times when my schedule is more manageable and I’m getting good sleep, I don’t have to think about it. My workouts are written into my calendar like any other appointment. I also enjoy working out.

Usually, exercise happens.

This summer has proven to be a great challenge to my fitness routine. I have a job as a personal trainer, and I perform in an off-Broadway play three nights a week. In addition to that, I am developing a tv project. Then there are the commitments to family, friends, and romance! It’s been one huge time crunch and my mind has been spread out to many different places. And this heat!! Oh my god, running outside in this soup is not so fun!

I talk a lot with my clients about motivation. What keeps them going, what drives them  to do something, or act in a certain way? What are their meaningful rewards? When one finds the various things that encourage and inspire, it’s much easier to move in the desired direction.

I realized a big motivator for me this summer is having a workout buddy.

I never conceived just how helpful it is for me to have a partner for exercise! This discovery was subconscious and my planning was not intentionally geared in this direction at first. I would simply find myself setting up a running date, or asking a friend if they’d like to go to the gym with me.

One day I noticed a pattern in my planning. I’d been scheduling “buddy dates” for days that my schedule looked particularly challenging. These were days that I must have instinctually sensed I’d flake if I had no accountability.

By making my exercise an appointment, I was committed not just to myself, but to my buddy! Even on the most hectic of days, if I had a buddy date, I exercised. 

My buddies are great for many reasons! Yes, they get me to show up in the first place! But they also create more of a fun factor. In addition to this making exercise less of a “chore”, simply having someone to share that focus with encourages me to push harder.

Who are your fitness buddies?  Elizabeth Pongo is one of mine. We will have running meetings to problem solve and flush out ideas while looping Prospect Park. I can also wrangle my boyfriend to the gym, as well my sister. I also have a devout yoga friend who gets me to yoga a few times a month.

Find someone who inspires you to move!

Is there a co-worker you can do lunchtime classes with? A family member who is also trying to stay active? Do you know anyone who’s having a great time doing something you’ve never tried? Now is the time! Plan a date! Say “yes” if asked!

This is my go-to for the rest of the summer. When fall returns and brings the beautiful weather back with it, I can once again enjoy the solitude of a long run alone. But for now, I am buddy-systeming it up so that I can keep myself on track.

Hope you find some buddies to move with, too!