The Buddy System


Remem­ber when you were young and you used to buddy sys­tem to be safe and pre­vent get­ting lost? Sur­pris­ingly, the buddy sys­tem is not just for young chil­dren. It can dra­mat­i­cally change the way you exercise.

Moti­va­tion

After a long and tir­ing day of work isn’t it easy to skip out on the gym? Work­ing out with friends can change this urge to give up. “No one wants to be Deb­bie Downer by bail­ing and let­ting down your friend, “ says Steve Stone­house, Per­sonal Train­ing Man­ager at Crunch gym in New York City. We all have plans and goals that we make in our heads such as, “I’m going to the gym at 5:00 p.m. every other day!” Mak­ing plans with your friends makes it much harder to flake out on exercise.

Fun

I know, I know. Get­ting all sweaty, run­ning on the tread­mill, and lift­ing weights are not the most enter­tain­ing activ­i­ties, but with a friend, it’s dif­fer­ent. Since there are two of you there are more oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able, such as a game of squash (racket ball), bas­ket­ball, and ten­nis. It’s eas­ier to switch up your rou­tine with friends. “Maybe you know a bru­tal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you some­thing new. Your body adapts and becomes effi­cient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stone­house. When your rou­tines are dif­fer­ent, your body responds faster.

Work out Harder

How many of us glance at another person’s tread­mill to see how many calo­ries they’ve burnt or looked at how much weight the per­son next to us is lift­ing? “When­ever you’re work­ing out with some­one else, the inten­sity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” says Stone­house. Peo­ple you don’t know who are bet­ter than you usu­ally make you frus­trated. A friend can help you turn this frus­tra­tion into com­pe­ti­tion. Some­thing else to con­sider is pick­ing a per­son who is at the same fit­ness level that you are. Some­one advanced is not going to gain much work­ing out with a new­bie. When you are at the same level as your friend you can push each other to be better.

Thin­ner Friends

Yes this does sound shal­low but it actu­ally helps you health level. Researchers at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity have found that you can “catch” obe­sity or other bad habits from from oth­ers. The experts found a person’s risk of being obese rises by two per­cent for every five social inter­ac­tion that per­son has with obese peo­ple. When you are around peo­ple who are unhealthy it’s much eas­ier to become unhealthy as well.