Your Personal Health EntourageBy Kathleen Trotter
People often tell me that if they were celebrities who had a 24/7 crew on hand to cook for them and guide their fitness routines, they would be fit.
The reality is that these celebrity entourages probably do take much of the guesswork, and much of the effort, out of being healthy.
But you don’t have to be a celebrity to have a “health entourage”!
Anyone can set themselves up for health and fitness success by establishing a network of friends to help them stay motivated and accountable. Your friends are your friends because they care about you and want you to succeed – and vice versa!
I suggest you start by reaching out to three friends: a gym buddy, an accountability buddy, and a nutrition buddy.
Gym buddies meet and workout together. You are less likely to skip your workout if you have someone waiting for you. Plus, a gym buddy can make working out more fun.
If working out with someone doesn’t appeal to you or isn’t always realistic, an alternative is to find an accountability buddy. An accountability buddy does exactly what the name suggests: he or she makes you accountable to someone other than yourself. Email or call each other regularly to discuss anything and everything health related. Good topics of conversation are: your weekly exercise plan, your fitness goals, meal plans, possible roadblocks for success, and ideas for how to overcome the roadblocks.
A nutrition buddy can materialize in different ways. For example, once a month, make a date with your nutrition buddy to cook together and make six or eight healthy meals. There are tons of healthy soups and stews you can make in advance. Split the spoils and store the meals in your freezer.
Or, if you don’t want to cook together, make food individually, then split and share the spoils.
Try meeting your buddy once a week at the market. Get lots of fresh local produce and catch up at the same time. Or simply use your friend as a sounding board. Discuss healthy recipes and healthy eating strategies.
Just remember, you can’t place the responsibility of your success onto your friends. Don’t quit just because they do, or assume that they will do the work for you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to exercise and eat well.
The main take-away is to figure out what systems and healthy habits you can establish that increase your likelihood of success. Improving your health doesn’t just happen – the more healthy influences, positive triggers and steps you can establish for success, the better! Forming various healthy alliances – or health buddies, as I call them – is simply one way you can set yourself up for success.
Kathleen Trotter has been a personal trainer and Pilates equipment specialist for almost twelve years. Kathleen is the featured personal trainer in The Globe and Mail’s online “Fitness Basics” series, writes two weekly pieces for the Globe, blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and Healthy Directions magazine, and has contributed articles to magazines such as Canadian Running, Today’s Parent and Chatelaine. Kathleen recently completed her Masters at The University of Toronto. Kathleen is currently working to become a registered Holistic Nutritionist from The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. To learn more about Kathleen, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.