The Buddy System
- Accountability: You are less likely to skip a workout if you know a friend is waiting for you at the gym.
- Motivation: It is much easier to accomplish a difficult task when you have someone cheering you on. Furthermore, a little friendly competition between exercise partners can be of benefit. For instance, whomever wins the tennis match gets to choose where to go for dinner.
- Validation: Knowing that someone else is experiencing similar challenges as you creates a sense of connectedness. This, in turn, can increase your confidence that you can overcome the barriers to exercise, especially if you know you are doing it together.
- Distraction: Conversations during the physical activity helps time to "fly by." Discussing your weekend plans with a friend will keep your mind off of the normal muscular fatigue that you experience during moderate-intensity exercise, allowing you to stick with it to the end.
- Your exercise partner should have a similar fitness level and ability. This helps with motivation and validation.
- Someone who has similar exercise goals. Accountability and motivation can be effected if your partner wants to use runs as training sessions for a marathon and you are only interested in running a 5K.
- Your exercise partner should have a healthy attitude in regards to exercise and well-being. Choose someone that you know is committed to adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
- A fellow exerciser should be someone with whom you have "good chemistry." That is, choose someone with whom you enjoy being around. This will make exercise more enjoyable, positively effecting motivation.