Buddy System: Will This Work For You?

The buddy system, in this article, is a reference to having someone who is working with you to exercise and/or eat healthy. When you are serious about exercising, you may consider having your girlfriend workout with you.

Below, I list some benefits, weaknesses, and suggestions for you, as you consider using an exercise partner.

I. Benefits of the Buddy System. Once you have made up your mind to really work on proper exercising and eating, you may decide you want a “partner in crime.” Just like the movie “Thelma and Louise,” having someone alone for the ride can have benefits.

Your buddy can talk with you about your health goals. She can also be helpful in controlling your eating. She may suggest that you all do an activity, instead of going out and eat.

A partner will also hold you accountable for showing up at the gym late or not at all. Having a buddy makes you think twice before hitting that alarm clock for another snooze.

You can use a buddy as a “sounding board,” when you are frustrated and tired of your healthy lifestyle decisions. It is the hope that your buddy will allow you to vent and then give encouraging words to help you hold on.

For especially women, buddies can be helpful in improving and keeping healthy lifestyles. It is important to remember that just like you will need encouragement from your buddy, you must give encouragement to your buddy also.

II. Weaknesses of the Buddy System. Sometimes when you are really trying to have a healthy lifestyle and you include others, it may be problematic.

Dr. Michael F. Roizen, from Health4WomenOnline.com, says that when including a buddy in our healthy lifestyle changes, we sometimes consider the needs of the buddy over our own needs. He also says that we are more inclined to go eat with our buddy and forgot our portion controls.

Having a buddy can be frustrating, if you have limited time to exercise and your buddy causes you to exercise less. Think about your schedule. Is it the same as your buddy’s?

You may want to exercise in the morning, and your partner may want to exercise in the evening. If you and your buddy are unwilling or unable to adjust your schedules, you will be more incline to say forget the exercising.

It is important for you to remember that people are people. Just because a person told you they will be there for you does not mean they actually will.

Don’t use the excuse that your buddy fell off the bandwagon and that’s why you can. You need to be accountable to yourself for your own actions. Having a buddy is just a bonus.

III. Suggestions for Using a Buddy System. I think using a partner is very beneficial, if you have the right buddy. If you think the buddy system is for you, it is vital that you work on choosing the right person to be your buddy.

In choosing the right person, consider your goals and seek someone with similar goals. You should write out your goals and plans. Share them with close family and friends, and see if there is someone with similar goals and plans.

You and your buddy can check in weekly, if you don’t exercise together. Try to limit the amount of times you go out to eat with your buddy.

Make sure your buddy is not obviously jealous of you, because they can be a source of contention. Oh, how marvelous, if your buddy is your spouse, especially if you have the same schedule, goals, and plan.

If you desire a workout buddy and you feel your buddy will help your progress, get one. Remember you are in charge of your healthy lifestyle. If it does not work, "turn your buddy in."

In conclusion, the buddy system can be helpful for some and a hindrance to others. Determine for yourself what you need and then get it. A buddy is just for help. They can’t do your work.

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