Last Updated on April 30, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
It’s not easy for all of us to lose weight. While some may be able to stay focused and do what needs to be done, many often fail because they lack a strong support structure. This is especially difficult for those who have food addictions or extremely low self-esteems. Finding a fitness buddy can help you stay the course. Some who can keep you actively motivated is ideal, but anyone who shares your thoughts on better health can be greatly beneficial.
5 Benefits of a Fitness Buddy
A fitness buddy is similar to what a sponsor delivers for those in Alcoholics Anonymous. These individuals help you remain focused while making the experience seem less like a chore. They are different than personal trainers as they, too, are often people that want a healthier lifestyle as well.
Keeping You Motivated
Staying motivated to keep up with an exercise routine can be hard sometimes. Myself, I tend to perform far better when there are others around who are doing the same thing. When you have friends at the gym or walk with a group in the morning, exercise doesn’t seem too be difficult. These individuals can be great at keeping you motivated to continue. Even if you turn it into a friendly daily competition, the social element can be an inspiring experience.
A Friendly Competitive Atmosphere
Many humans are competitive by nature. A friend can help you keep determined to reach a higher level of health by adding that component to the experience. For instance, I saw my brother was out-performing me in steps one night on Fitbit. I walked until 11:45pm that night because I wasn’t about to let him beat me for the day. Competition doesn’t have to be cut-throat in order to be fun and engaging. For those who like games such as myself, it can feel more entertaining to add the element of competition.
Watching Each Other
Some people have a severe problem when it comes to food. If you’re one of those individuals who have an addictive personality, you may want to seek professional assistance. However, having a fitness buddy can be helpful when you start to get those cravings. Instead of trying to talk yourself out of buying that bag of cookies, a friend could convince you that a small salad would be far healthier.
Sharing Victories Can Build Confidence
When you use the buddy system for exercise, you share in each others victories. It’s nice when someone makes a positive comment related to your success, and it can contribute to building up your confidence. This is probably one of the most important aspects for having a fitness buddy. You begin to feel better about yourself and have a continuing drive to succeed when you have someone there who can give you a good pep-talk. Just make sure you reciprocate the gesture. Your buddy will also need that confidence boost.
Safety in Numbers
One reason why a lot of single people don’t visit the gym or go for a jog around the neighborhood is because they don’t feel safe. There are all kinds of stories on the Internet and in the news about women being raped or missing people while on a jogging route. For the most part, the criminal element is looking for easy targets. Exercising in a group delivers safety in numbers and greatly reduces the risks of something happening.
Ideas of Where to Find Fitness Buddies
Finding someone to buddy-up with can be difficult for many people. This is especially true for those who are shy, such as myself. I am pretty much a hermit in most cases, but I have a good support structure for fitness thanks to my family. Where are some good places to find exercise friends?
There are groups galore of people just like you who want to live a better lifestyle. I’ve met a lot of fun people in MyFitnessPal, Google+ and Fitbit. Join a social group and interact with those individuals. For the most part, these groups are developed by people that are in similar situations as yourself. Personally, I’d suggest MyFitnessPal or Fitbit if you’re just starting. It’s much easier to connect with good people on those sites in my opinion.
At the Gym
The gym can be a good place to meet new people, especially if you sign up for group classes. A lot of these places understand how friendly support is beneficial and encourages others to interact with each other. This may be difficult if you’re incredibly shy, but you never know. You could find your new best friend in one of these groups.
Family can be a good support structure. Even if it’s members who live in another city who follow you on Facebook, their compliments concerning your efforts can go a long way to keeping you focused on health. I have quite a few people in my family who offer that boost of confidence – mostly from my brother and my wife.
Personal trainers can be very helpful when it comes to motivation and esteem boosts. However, not everyone has the money to pay one of these individuals. On the upside, a good personal trainer will make you feel like you can do anything. This is because you can; you just need the right motivation.
I am always looking for new people to add to my friends lists. If you want to follow any one of my accounts or add me to a friend list, feel free. Links to my profiles are available in the “My Tools” section above. You can also drop me a line on Twitter by using this site since I have the plugin running at all times.
When you make the decision to become healthy, the path could feel like a dark and lonely stairway that keeps winding around. Having a fitness buddy by your side can make that path seem less dark and dreary. Whether it’s a close friend, relative or a complete stranger, you never know who can inspire you until you ask. Don’t be afraid to change your life for the better through exercise and dieting. There is a much bigger world out there to explore when you have drive to succeed.
What friends have you met lately that inspire you to stay motivated for health?