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How to Find the Perfect Health Buddy

Get tips from Dr. Mike Roizen’s latest book, This is YOUR Do-Over.

Medically reviewed in March 2022

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By: Ana Lopez
 
The Beatles weren’t the only ones talking about how you can get by with a little help from your friends. Michael Roizen, MD, agrees too. In his new book, This is YOUR Do-Over, Dr. Roizen explains how a supportive buddy is a powerful tool to transform your health. “The buddy system works by helping you make good choices, coaxing you to be smart about your behavior and cheering or jeering you when you do things that have an influence on your body,” explains Roizen.
 
Get started on the right path to improving your health with these tips to develop a successful buddy relationship. 
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Pick the Right Buddy
The ability to connect through shared experiences is a powerful part of the buddy relationship. Someone who has never had weight issues may not relate to your goal of losing 50 pounds. Because a buddy relationship is usually mutually beneficial -- where you both help each other out with your health goals -- someone who is serious about losing weight would be your best bet.
 
Your buddy can be a family member, friend, coworker or trainerWhat’s important is that this is someone you trust and can be honest with about both your successes and your failures -- since that’s when you’ll need your buddy the most.
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Focus on the Positive
You don’t want a Debbie Downer partner -- and you don’t want to be one, either. The idea is to stay pumped during this health journey. As Roizen says,  “If you’re around someone positive, you’ll feed off that energy -- and that will give you the power to get through tough times, make good decisions and lead you to a younger RealAge®.” Likewise, being optimistic yourself will motivate your buddy to do his or her best, too.
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Provide Mutual Feedback
Having a buddy for accountability is great, but if you’re the only one doing all the talking (or vice versa) it’s not going to be very effective. Make sure it’s a two-way street when it comes to helping each other out -- especially if your buddy system is a virtual one. Whether you text, email or call each other, be sure you have daily dialogue or you both risk losing commitment to the process. Check out the four qualities of good feedback.
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Find Fun Ways to Be Supportive
“Great job!” and “Don’t sweat it, just do better tomorrow!” are great examples of verbal support, but there’s so much more you can do to communicate. “I find that buddy relationships are the most beneficial when both parties can also exchange information and ideas, such as healthy recipes, exercise ideas, health news and things along those lines,” says Roizen. So get to sharing, chatting and supporting your buddy to improve your health -- together.
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Get a Buddy, Get Healthy!

Meet some real-life buddies, and learn how they help each other stay healthy and fit.

 

Find out more

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