Using "Buddies" Can Help You Succeed in Your Fitness Program
Enlisting "workout buddies" or a similar type of support system can increase your success.
In fact, this
type of support can be critical in dealing with obstacles concerning
getting and staying motivated to exercise, eat healthy and adopt other
healthy behaviors, findings of a new study indicate.
have a personal support system, whether it be a friend, family member
or personal trainer, are far more likely to adopt and stick with a
program of physical activity than people who have no social support,
according to the study of 8,000 HealthPartners members.
"With a total
of only a few hours of counseling over a six-month period, we found
that our members were much more likely to become and remain physically
active," said Nico Pronk, Ph.D., director of the HealthPartners Center
for Health Promotion.
personal support offered in counseling can help prevent people from
relapsing from a state of regular physical activity back to a state of
relative inactivity, the study found.
"We know that
if people create a support system for themselves, they are much more
likely to continue their physical activity," said Pronk. "This can be
as easy as having a neighbor stop by at a set time each day to go for a
A number of tips you can use to stay motivated, Wagner suggested, include:
Develop a support system by enlisting the help of family and friends.
Make activity a priority every day.
Post a note on the refrigerator each day as a reminder to take a walk.
Park in the furthest spot away from the office.
Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
Walk to lunch whenever possible.
Try creating a lunchtime walking club with your co-workers, during
which you can walk to local restaurants several days a week, or, if
that's not feasible, set aside a certain amount of your lunchtime to
walk around the company campus or parking lot.
Bring athletic shoes to work and set time out each day to walk.
And, finally, set measurable, attainable goals and reward yourself as they are achieved. These rewards don't have to be earth-shattering either. You can reward yourself with a night out or some special "family time."
Copyright 1999 Health Resources Publishing