Turn to Your Friends to Meet Your Health Goals

If you’re struggling to stick to a healthy routine, try it out with a friend.

Turn to Your Friends to Meet Your Health Goals

If you Google the word “buddies,” you get 412,000,000 responses—a testimony to just how much folks value the concept of a supportive pal. But many of you try to reach your health and wellness goals alone—and become frustrated or, can we say it, lazy?

Multiple studies show that if you’re aiming to upgrade your life, doing it with a buddy or in a group makes it that much more achievable and sustainable because companionship bolsters motivation. It’s the most important choice for starting a healthy routine, according to Dr. Mike in his book This Is Your Do-Over!

Whatever healthy-living ambitions you have—lowering your cholesterol, losing weight, learning to cook a plant-based diet—there are buddies that can help you succeed in all of those challenges.

Finding buddies: You can enlist your co-workers, family and friends to join your efforts, but sometimes it’s more effective to join a large “buddy-up” organization where there’s someone new to offer you encouragement and fun! Meetup.com offers nationwide support groups (structured, group-organized events are safest). For example, there are New York and LA hiking groups with tens of thousands of members. Metro Detroit Workout (4,000+ members) and Women of Color in Atlanta (7,000+ members) provide support for weight loss and physical activity. Local YMCAs and commercial businesses dedicated to weight loss and fitness also provide group support. You can even have a workout buddy through your computer (check out the challenge groups on the Sharcare.com app, available for iOS and Android)—research shows that, too, increases motivation and enjoyment over exercising alone.

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

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