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A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals & is set apart from other resolutions in that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. People committing themselves to a New Year’s resolution generally plan to do so for the whole following year. Generally, it is interpreted as a positive lifestyle change. A 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that those who set New Year resolutions shared a much higher success rate when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

Quoting Frank Ra (author of the new year’s resolution book “A course in happiness” ):

“Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions”.

Now, this brings about a very interesting point that I have found over the course of my career in the fitness industry. Working out with friends is possibly the greatest interpreter of success in terms of helping people to stick to their programs, and getting their desired results. Working out with a friend, or friends, makes you feel better than working out alone. Endorphins are released during and after the workout which aid in an overall feeling of of euphoria or a moment of bliss. Also, the competition that is inevitably generated helps people boost their exercise intensity and lose weight more effectively. A survey found that two out of three women said they pushed themselves harder when exercising with a friend. As an added bonus, over 50% of the women surveyed said exercising with a buddy also improved their friendship, which prefaces my next point!

ACCOUNTABILITY…Having a partner ask you to be accountable for your workout schedule is a sure way to stay on track. When someone else is working out with you, it prevents the impulse to make excuses for not wanting to carry out your New Year’s Resolutions! On a different note, having a conversation while exercising dissociates you from the possible discomfort of the activity. So as long as the exercise outweighs the conversation, keep up the exercise induced socialization!.

MOTIVATION… Sometimes the hardest part of a workout regime or a weight loss program is staying motivated. Different things motivate everyone! Workout partners are a crucial ingredient in any fitness plan. You will quickly get to know your partner’s hot buttons, which puts you in a great position to motivate them when the going gets tough.

Now, unless you are a hired personal trainer with an extensive kinesiology and exercise science knowledge base, there is no reason for you to push your partner to limits you don’t know they have. However, you want to keep your partner from quitting. Workout partners must have a mutual understanding that both persons are there to inspire and motivate each other until the very end. If failure is not an option for you and your workout partner, you both will be less likely to give up or get lazy.

COMPARISON…Another reason teaming up with an exercise buddy works, is that you get to see someone similar to you facing the similar challenges. This will invariably strengthen your belief that you can accomplish your goals too.
Now remember, It’s really important to find someone who has similar exercise goals. Sometimes your best friend isn’t the best person to be your exercise buddy. You need to pick someone you like, but also someone who isn’t going to have a problem telling you when you’re slacking. This leads me to the next point. When your internal well of inspiration has run dry, you need outside forces to refresh you.

A great workout partner provides support, helps you stay focused, excited, and stays by your side through thick and thin helping you to achieve your fitness goals. Workout partners can be current friends, family members or someone you meet at the gym. They can be people who share your weight loss goals or fitness interests. Also, having more than one workout partner can be a great benefit. This gives the workout “group” the ability to work with many goals as well as learning from one another! Remember, workout partners should always be positive, friendly, and sometimes brutally honest, which means it is okay to be picky when choosing a workout partner. SO, there’s no day better than today to commit to an exercise plan! Remember to stay positive and, most importantly, have fun! Now, find a workout partner and get started today!

Michael Prince RN, BSN, CPT has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 20 years and is the co-owner of 360° Fitness, an industry leader in personal training and group fitness. As a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, featured commentator for several news stations, he is a registered nurse, father of 3 beautiful children, and wife to Melinda Prince his amazing wife and business partner of over 20 years.

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