This holiday season, CHAMP’s 2018 #GotMySix campaign shines a spotlight on how social support from friends or loved ones can help you maintain total fitness. Whether you’re looking for a group exercise class, a spotter for strength training, or a partner to join you on your run, social support increases your chances of sticking to your exercise plan. When it comes to getting out the door for a workout, everyone has their little tips and tricks to stay motivated. Maybe your phone sends a reminder, or there’s a goal pictured on your fridge. But how many times have you turned off your alarm or walked past that inspirational quote and said, “I’ll do it tomorrow”?
Sometimes you need a little more accountability, and this is where friends and family (even your pet!) can help. It’s harder to skip out on exercise when your “fitness” battle buddy—who has your “six” and looks out for your well-being—is waiting for you on your doorstep. And the social and mental health benefits of exercise can be just as important as the exercise itself. For example, women are more likely to engage in physical activity if they do it as part of a group and if they have friends who are active. They also tend to enjoy exercise more with others versus alone.
Feeling better about your workout leads to more minutes of exercise per week too. Try these tips to find the right workout partner:
- Find others who are similarly fit and skilled and share similar goals. It’s difficult to spot someone in the weight room if there’s a large difference in strength. Or it might be frustrating if your running partner is significantly slower than you. Choose a fitness battle buddy who will challenge you to optimize your strength and performance.
- Pick a regular day or time to work out with your partner. It’s important that you rely on each other to be there. Developing a routine and sticking to a schedule will make exercise a habit, which takes a bit less effort to get your workout in on scheduled days. And you don’t need to think as much about getting started since it becomes “just what you do now.”
- Be flexible. Things come up, and life happens. Sometimes you have to move the time or even reschedule. Still, working through last-minute conflicts can help remind you to work out on your own that day as well.
During CHAMP’s #GotMySix campaign, give a shout-out to your fitness battle buddy on social media for her or his friendship and support. Or tag yourselves and @HPRConline in a picture of your workout routine during the holidays and include #GotMySix in your post.
Meanwhile, watch the video below to learn more about social support from teammates, friends, and family members.
de Bruijn, G.J., Gardner, B., van Osch, L., & Sniehotta, F. F. (2013). Predicting automaticity in exercise behaviour: The role of perceived behavioural control, affect, intention, action planning, and behaviour. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(5), 767–774. doi:10.1007/s12529-013-9348-4
Firestone, M. J., Yi, S. S., Bartley, K. F., & Eisenhower, D. L. (2015). Perceptions and the role of group exercise among New York City adults, 2010–2011: An examination of interpersonal factors and leisure-time physical activity. Preventive Medicine, 72, 50–55. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.01.001
Lovell, G. P., Gordon, J. A. R., Mueller, M. B., Mulgrew, K., & Sharman, R. (2015). Satisfaction of basic psychological needs, self-determined exercise motivation, and psychological well-being in mothers exercising in group-based versus individual-based contexts. Health Care for Women International, 37(5), 568–582. doi:10.1080/07399332.2015.1078333
Rech, C. R., Reis, R. S., Hino, A. A. F., & Hallal, P. C. (2014). Personal, social and environmental correlates of physical activity in adults from Curitiba, Brazil. Preventive Medicine, 58, 53–57. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.10.023