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What should I look for in an exercise partner?

Social networks can strongly influence behavior and beliefs. People who are trying to change their exercise behavior and who have a strong social support fare better. That social support can include family, friends, coworkers, personal trainers, and other people who provide encouragement, support, accountability, and companionship.

There are various kinds of support that help people reach their health and fitness goals, and each of these support mechanisms has a significant impact on your successes or failures. An exercise partner should provide the following types of support:

  • Instrumental support is the tangible and practical factors necessary to help you adhere to your exercise plan.  
  • Emotional support is expressed through encouragement, caring, empathy, and concern. Someone who understands your needs and might also be going through the same thing you are experiencing.  
  • Informational support is the type of support includes the directions, advice, or suggestions given to clients about how to exercise and the feedback regarding their progress.
  • The exercise partner should be a companion. Companionship support is the availability to have a friend, family, and/or coworkers to exercise with you.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.