Have you ever tried getting into shape by taking a solo approach, but eventually came to find yourself dropping off of your fitness program all together? Have you not even started your pursuit to a healthy lifestyle because you are on your own and unsure where to start? These are fairly common problems that people run into when they try to make healthy changes in their lives all by themselves. Don’t get discouraged though, because for today’s Formidable Fitness Feature you’ll find out why using the buddy system approach to reach your health and fitness goals will be your best strategy yet!
Maybe you go to the gym to do your usual routine, but every time you are there you notice a small group of people with a trainer or instructor, happily enjoying a boot-camp style workout. Do you also always see the same couple having some friendly competition while working out together? Or when you get home from work every day do you see the same two ladies in sweat pants and hoodies walking briskly by your house and chatting up a storm?
These people have something good going on – they are using the buddy system.. Buddying up when it comes to engaging in exercise and living an overall healthy lifestyle has multiple physical and social benefits. Having a strong support system is very important, especially when it comes to having a partner to trudge through the trenches and climb the highest peaks with you.
So why should you start buddying up?
If you have a partner to begin a workout program with then it makes getting started much less intimating. The motivation from feeling like you are in it together will actually get you and your partner to take the first steps towards your fitness goals (or to physically step foot in a gym). Once you start exercising on a regular basis and eventually make it a habit, your partner can push you past the intensity you would normally work at on your own. When you have a buddy to workout with they not only act as your coach and cheerleader, but also as someone to engage in healthy competition with. Research studies have shown that people are able to more than double their exercise intensity and time when they exercise with someone they perceive to be a better performer than they are. This is amazing! By safely competing in your workouts with your partner you can increase your fitness level much faster than you would by yourself.
Speaking of safety, you’ll also be able to watch out for each other while exercising at higher intensities. Your partner can make sure you are keeping good form with each exercise, and they will be able to spot you when doing heavier lifts like squats or a bench press. Having someone around for extra help will allow you to increase your fitness level even more in a shorter amount of time. While you are working out together you can bounce ideas off of each other with what kind of exercises to do, or different ways to do them, to add plenty of variety into your routine. Your body adapts to the same exercise routine over time, so it’s best to keep your muscles on their toes by mixing it up every now and then. This way you can get stronger and burn more calories. Trying new things makes the whole shared experience so much more fun!
Fun is the name of the game when it comes to the social aspect of exercising with a friend, coworker, or significant other. The honest truth is that in order to see the gains you want it is sometimes going to be uncomfortable and even boring if you are not used to working out. But that can easily be masked when you have a partner to make it fun! With a partner, your workouts can be lighthearted while you encourage and motivate one another through each repetition. When you can laugh at a joke or chat between sets it decreases your perceived exertion of the exercises you are performing. Conversation with your partner also acts as a positive distraction from exercise like timed cardio (e.g. running), which makes the time of your workout seem to fly by.
After all, humans are social animals; so when you are able to chat your way through a workout with your partner that workout becomes more like a free therapy session. Being able to have empathetic interactions, catch up on gossip, and tell stories makes you look forward to your next workout with your partner. When you have the social support of your exercise partner you gain great emotional benefits and a feeling of comradery. You are less likely to bail on an exercise session with your partner because you become emotionally invested and don’t want to let them down. This emotional investment in your partnership keeps you both accountable and serves as a huge motivating factor to working out together so you don’t let the other person down.
Now just because there are so many benefits to having a fitness buddy doesn’t mean that any partner will do. A good partner to exercise with will be someone who is at about the same fitness level as you, if not slightly higher. You should have good rapport with this person or at least be able to confidently build up a positive relationship. The main thing is that you should exercise with someone you like and whom constantly gives off positive vibes to push you further.
So go ahead and grab a buddy to become more physically active with! Soon enough you’ll be making progress and having tons of fun exercising with someone special who keeps you motivated to keep moving.
This is the perfect time to start a health and fitness program with a partner because we are offering our Six Months to Success program for Customized Couple Plans. All you and your partner have to do is commit to 3 months of a plan designed specifically for you, and you’ll get the next 3 months FREE! This deal is unbeatable and is sure to set you up for a great health and fitness journey using the buddy system! Check out our Six Months to Success page now.
Take advantage of all the great benefits that come with buddying up to achieve your fitness goals, and while you are at it share this post with some of your friends! As always, keep living Happily Ever Healthy.