Buddy up for the both of you!

Ever found yourself struggling to make that evening exercise class you signed up for? Or find you get extra snuggly when the alarm bugles the morning run announcement? Even though you enjoy the classes and nature sounds on your walks, getting up and at it is harder than you imagined.

Enter your activity buddy and commitment. Research shows that having an “accountability” buddy helps you stay pledged to the activity and encourages progress and ultimately reaching your goal.

We are tribal in nature, hence, we yearn for connection and crave community. Research supports those who have friend (social) and family support have stronger immune systems, balanced mental health, and lead fuller, more satisfying lives. When we socialize, we produce more serotonin and oxytocin, aka “happy” hormones,” which reduces anxiety.

The Kohler Effect, identified by German psychologist Otto Kohler in the 1920s, says your own effort increases when you see others doing better than you. Hence, the challenge of working out with others is inspirational and gives you the cheerleading to do those last 3 push-ups. It’s motivating to know you’ve got company in this!!

One way these 3 C’s manifest for me is in talking to friends in other places. Different fitness levels don’t matter and the encouragement to get out and move is high when we get the pleasure of each other. The push beyond our comfort level is felt even across the miles. We each feel comforted by the connection we experience and there’s always the commitment to not let each other down and challenges to improve our speed!

Adapted from Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health magazine

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