How can a friend help my fitness motivation?

A friend can offer encouragement, companionship, will power, and a positive influence on your fitness motivation.

Also working out with a friend can bring the competitive nature out of you, finding out who works harder, lost more weight and feels and looks better, is a strong motivation to staying committed to your fitness program.

Seeing you and your friend fitness progressing together can create a stronger friendship and a sense of togetherness that you will not want to lose.

Whether your goal is to lose weight or just stay active over time, you can double your chances of success by teaming up with like-minded people. Research shows social networks have a huge impact on how you behave when it comes to health—for better or worse. Weight gains and losses are especially susceptible to the influence of friends and family: A woman's chances of being obese increase nearly 60 percent if her BFF is gaining, too, and rises about 40 percent if a sibling or husband gains weight.

Ms. Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

One who is supportive, caring, pushes you to stay on task, and act as your cheerleader will help.

One of the best ways to stay on track with your individual fitness goals is to have a friend that has already accomplished what you want to achieve. This will be beneficial because the friend will have experience and wisdom into what it takes to get to the next level and overcome obstacles which in turn will provide motivation for one to continue to work hard to accomplish the fitness goals you set out to achieve.

Tony Horton
Fitness Specialist

Fitness expert and creator of the P90X fitness program, Tony Horton, explains how a friend can help motivate you to reach your fitness goals. Watch Tony's video for tips and information on fitness, health and wellness.

Robert DeVito
Fitness Specialist

Having a "Fitness Partner" can be incredibly motivating and rewarding for many reasons.

First, there is accountability. You will be much more likely to follow-through on a workout if you have scheduled it and someone is expecting you. Many people operate better when they feel like someone is counting on them.

It is easy to justify letting yourself down and missing a workout, but much more challenging to let someone else down.

Next, there is the motivation aspect of having a Fitness Partner. Everyone has bad days now and then and everyone gets fatigued, stressed and generally just blah!

A Fitness Partner can insure that you not only show up for the workout (which increases consistency) but they may be having a great day and put you in a better mood, which will boost your workout success.

A Fitness Partner can also act as a mentor, a friend, and/or a coach. The chances are good that your partner has either worked with a trainer at some point or has read up on updated articles etc. So, when you are in a right, they will have a new move or workout to spark your interest and help you get results.

Lastly, your Fitness Partner will improve your consistency. Sometimes "Life gets in the way" and you will want to skip the session or feel that you are too busy to make it.

Consistency is one of the most valuable habits that lead to success in anything. Your Fitness Partner will help keep you on track.

Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy Specialist

Dieting is tough work and a stressor that requires physical, mental, and emotional energy. In the midst of such an undertaking, you need support more than ever. Often even our biggest cheerleaders are not confident in how to best support us when we travel roads they have not. While it can be difficult to ask for help, both you and your friend will be glad you did.

  • Accountability - Many people have a hard time doing things for themselves alone, but are more likely to follow through if they know someone else cares -- or sometimes simply if someone else will know. Friends can join you in your exercise routine or ask you about how you are doing with your meal plan. You are much less likely to hit snooze if you know your friend will be waiting for you to workout at 6 am. If you share your journey electronically, make sure you ask friends to specifically comment on your tweets or posts, so you know someone is paying attention and supporting you.
  • Advocacy - Friends can defend your plate when a party host is encouraging another serving or something that is not on your meal plan. A friend can prepare a dish that you know you can eat, so you do not have to only bring your own food. A friend can ask the waiter the ingredients questions that you are tired of asking.
  • Partnership - Beyond accountability, a friend that is journeying with you and experiencing the same ups and downs can commiserate, celebrate, and share ideas with you every step of the way. Often people say that they would like to lose a little to a lot of weight, but they are always waiting for that Monday that never comes. You can ask a friend to join you in dieting or weight loss, and your friend may be excited to have a reason to finally start. If you are using the same diet, then you can take turns preparing meals.
  • Kitchen Clean-Up - If your kitchen or pantry contains items that you have removed from your diet but may be tempting to you, a friend can come over and remove those things, so you aren't tempted to eat them rather than throw them away.
  • Encouragement - Another way to go beyond accountability is to ask a friend to periodically direct words of encouragement to you. Make sure you tell them what is encouraging to you. If you find inspirational quotes to be cheesy, your friend needs to know that.

Having a workout partner can play a huge part in your goals. While may of us workout on our own there can be a downside to it. Many times people talk themselves out of working hard, skipping exercises or the ability to push pass those exercises we struggle with. Now this is where your workout partner is going to give you the motivation you need. The support structure your friend will give you to motivate, inspire and be there for you in those hard workouts to come. So when you have that partner to push you and give you the motivation to get the results you are looking for is huge. Your friends can hold you accountable to your goals while when your by yourself it would be easy to walk away from.

Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

When choosing a friend to help with your weight loss efforts, seek out the friend who is supportive, non-judgmental and has your best interest at heart. You may also benefit from a friend who has goals like yours and who's already motivated. You can hold each other accountable.

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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.