Women know how important regular physical activity is for both losing and maintaining a healthy weight. As a person’s weight increases, so does the risk for several diseases including high blood pressure, heart issues, sleep problems and certain cancers. You can reduce the risk for these diseases and others by losing and maintaining a healthy weight. However, finding time and motivation for regular workouts often is difficult—that’s when a workout buddy becomes important.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or a combination of both levels. Of course, you are an individual and the amount of moderate and vigorous activity your body needs to lose weight and/or to maintain a healthy may vary from your friends.
150 or even 75 minutes of weekly workouts may seem impossible to schedule. Having a workout buddy can make the difference! An exercise partner or workout buddy provides the following:
- Healthy competition
Dr. Wayne Andersen, cofounder and medical director of Take Shape for Life in Maryland states, “In my 10 years of experience evaluating what creates long-term health-and-fitness success, the single most important factor is having a support system.”
Choosing your Buddy
Your workout buddy needs to be someone who shares a commitment to fitness that is similar to your personal commitment. If your workout partner is queen of excuses for missing workouts, showing up late or having to leave early, she is not the buddy you need. Don’t ditch the friendship, meet for coffee instead to enjoy each other’s company, just don’t work out together.
Likewise, a workout buddy whose physical fitness level is well above your own is not the best choice either. You may feel as if you need to push yourself extra hard to match her level, which can lead to strains and injuries.
Like everything in life, you must find balance when choosing your workout buddy. Consider a partner with whom you share an emotional connection; someone you wouldn’t want to disappoint—this can be a key motivation factor. Don’t forget to choose a workout buddy that makes you smile, laugh and feel good even when you are struggling to go that extra five minutes on the treadmill. Remember before beginning any fitness program, consult your doctor.