The holidays are upon us and the New Year is just a few weeks away. Time to start thinking about resolutions and commitment to change. Forget about waiting till next month to “get healthier”, exercise more and eat better. Start thinking about it early– like RIGHT NOW. And make sure to call, email, Tweet and Facebook your friends to jump onto your better health bandwagon.
A recent study done at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published in the December 2 issue of the journal Science, reports that if you want to get healthy and adopt healthier habits you are more succesful in your attempt when you find friends that share the same health interests.
Let’s face it: we live in a world where our time is scarce. A lot of us want to go to the gym, but there are so many other things to do, places to be and people to see. But having an exercise buddy, someone to hit the gym with, take a walk or go for a run with, allows you to combine the basic human needs of friendship and physical exercise.
Exercising with a friend gives you more than a better-looking derriere—it makes you more accountable. You are much less likely to press the snooze button when you know someone is waiting on you at the gym or the local park for your morning run or walk. And when you make exercise socially, you take the focus off that all-too-common question, “Are we done yet?” Talk about current events, share problems and solutions to life experiences and, before you know it, you’ve finished six miles! Just think how much money you are saving and how many unwanted calories you are avoiding by saying “yes” to exercise with a friend and “no” to happy hour.
But what if you don’t have any buddies that want to jump on the exercise bandwagon? The buddy system doesn’t have to be limited to people you know. There are plenty of resources for people looking for group-based fitness initiatives. Free Web sites like Sparkpeople.com have virtually connected people as exercise and weight loss buddies. Another idea is to sign up with a charity sports training program like Team In Training. With a team of first-timers and seasoned athletes, you can raise money for a good cause and work toward the goal of completing a half-marathon, marathon and/or a 100-mile century bike ride.
Finally, look on the Internet to see if there is a local running or hiking club in your area. Some Niketown stores across the U.S. host free weekly group running events. And, last but not least, if you are having trouble finding an exercise buddy in your area, you can always start your own exercise club.
For more information on the study done by MIT check out: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011-12-03/Study-Circle-of-fri…