How an Exercise Buddy Will Help You Lose Weight

Exercise-BuddiesLosing weight is hard work, but finding an exercise partner can help you stay motivated to shed your pounds, says Linda Crews, a physical therapist with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

To maintain weight loss, the average healthy adult needs to exercise about 150 minutes each week, Crews said during a recent interview on the WTAX morning show. Most of that needs to come from cardio exercise, which helps with weight loss because it increases the heart rate, she said.

“The rest of us who really want to lose weight need to jack that up a little bit to 180 to 200 minutes a week,” Crews said.

While that may sound like a lot of time to devote to exercise, the key to success is to plan for it and set aside a little time every day.

Some people are internally motivated when it comes to exercise.

“They are going to exercise no matter what. Rain, shine, cold weather. They’re going to be out there,” Crews said.

The majority of people, however, need external motivation to exercise, and finding an exercise partner is a powerful external motivator. Crews suggested three activities people could do with their exercise partners.

  1. Find an exercise partner at work and make a commitment to walk around the office on your breaks and during most of your lunch time.
  2. If you both have bicycles, make time to ride a nearby bike trail. This is another great option that doesn’t require a lot of expense.
  3. Join a group exercise class, such as Zumba or water aerobics. Many groups are great at keeping their members accountable and will call absent members to encourage them to not miss the next session.

One of the biggest hurdles to exercise is being “too busy,” Crews said. An exercise partner can help you to find the time in your busy schedule to exercise because you both have made a commitment to exercise together and can hold each other accountable.