Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Find Yourself a Fitness Buddy

As the saying goes – ‘there’s strength in numbers’ – and with no pun intended this is especially true to those trying to stick to a health and fitness programme too. Those who have a strong support network, and who share their goals with others, are more likely to engage in regular physical activity.

Having an exercise buddy promotes more positive self-talk and you are far less likely to make an excuse as to why you can’t or shouldn’t exercise. When you’ve committed to meeting a friend for exercise, the ‘Do I, don’t I’ debate in your head will cease to exist. And if you’ve never enjoyed exercising on your own, exercising with a buddy will bring a fresh and renewed positivity towards working out.

There’s no doubt that working out alone can have it’s own zen-like appeal during those times when you just need to be alone. But for those seeking big changes in their body shape or fitness levels, self-motivation and will power will only get you so far. On days when you and the couch have become too well acquainted, you need someone to drag you off the couch and out the door – you need someone to kick your butt into gear. And that’s when the buddy system works wonders.

Finding a dedicated and loyal workout buddy is one of the secrets to achieving long term health and fitness success. Your new buddy will motivate you to be more active, push you further, help you overcome your weaknesses, and boost your confidence. But the biggest highlight is that fitness will become more fun, and the enjoyment factor will be heightened for all involved.

To ensure success, you must choose your exercise buddy wisely though. It doesn’t need to be a good friend or close work associate; in fact you’re best to avoid buddying up with someone who you know may lead you astray – or vice versa. Seek out a potential buddy by identifying those who have similar fitness goals, a schedule that compliments yours, and someone who is positive and encouraging. You need to be able to give one another ‘tough love’ – so identify someone who will be kind but yet honest with you. You both need to be equally passionate and determined about reaching your own goals; you don’t want someone who will go by the wayside as soon as the going gets tough.

The buddy system will keep things interesting and keep the boredom at bay. Time will pass much faster, and you’ll pound the miles away in seemingly no time at all. Further, having a laugh or a conversation while exercising dissociates you from the discomfort or fatigue you may experience, and it will make you feel better knowing that someone else is sharing your pain – a problem shared is a problem halved.

And the added bonus of working out with a buddy, is that you will increase your social networks. Exercise buddies who start out as casual acquaintances will quite often develop strong friendship bonds, mainly due to having gone through what is often an emotional rollercoaster of striving for deeply desired health and fitness goals.

My tips for a successful workout buddy relationship:

  • Choose a person who’s company you know you’ll enjoy
  • Pick someone who’s fitness and strength levels are similar to your own
  • Choose a fitness buddy who has similar goals to yours
  • Make sure you are both equally committed and determined to succeed
  • Create a contract/plan together which details when you will exercise, for how long, and what type of exercise you will do
  • Make sure you have back-up plans for when your buddy genuinely cannot meet you for an exercise session
  • Create a rewards scheme for further motivation to assist you both in achieving your goals quicker
  • Be prepared to graciously reprimand your buddy, or vice versa, for straying from your plan, or during any sign of ‘slacking off’
  • Make some of your exercise sessions unpredictable and fun – randomly throw in an aqua aerobics, zumba, or pole-dancing session (if you have fun and laugh, it’s more likely you’ll stick to it).

So if you need to up the ante with your exercise, or if you feel you need a buddy to help you take your fitness to the next level, get searching. You’ll be surprised how many others would love to join you on your health and fitness endeavours. Buddy-up, and take on the world.

For comments email