Thursday, May 28, 2009

Find a Fitness Friend

This morning I went on a Yoga Hike. Two weeks ago, I'd saw an announcement that two local fitness/yoga instructors were offering a fitness hike with yoga breaks.

Intrigued, I called my hiking buddy, D, and asked if she wanted to go. I got a resounding "yes," so we signed up.

D and I met a few years ago and discovered a shared passion for yoga. However, we do different styles. While I love the intensity of Ashtanga, she finds it a bit overwhelming, while I find the contemplative nature of the Kripalu style classes she loves boring.

But we both love to hike, so every few weeks, Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, we'll take a long hike together for a few hours. We both love being in the woods and truly enjoy each other's company.

Having a "fitness friend" is important. Hiking may not be a my main exercise, but it's good to break up the routine and do something different. And, having a buddy who shares the passion will get you to do it more often and for a longer time.

Twenty years ago when I was single and living in Boston and New York City, I had a circle of biking buddies. We'd make dates to bike, choose a destination, then head out of the city for the day (or even overnight), and bike for hours.

I still have skiing buddies who I get together with every Winter.

And, I've taught my kids to be fitness friends as well. On weekends we'll go hiking together and in the Winter we'll alpine and cross country ski together.

What's good about having a buddy is that if you're socializing you'll tend to spend more time in the activity. You may only rack up 45 minutes to an hour alone at the gym, but spend two or three hours hiking or biking with a friend.

Not something you can probably do every day, but definitely an occasional "treat."

Today's Yoga Hike was a vigorous 2 hour hike broken up with sessions of standing yoga poses and breathing exercises. At the end, a nutritionist offered up "raw" snacks of crudities and humus and "raw" truffles made with maca and coconut (which were scrumptious).

I probably would not have signed up for the Yoga Hike, if D couldn't go, and although we did talk, I actually socialized with other women on the walk as well. So even if D couldn't go on the next Yoga Hike, I may go it alone and chat up with my new fitness friends.

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