What to look for in a workout buddy


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Fun fact: Actress Jennifer Aniston was recently voted best workout buddy and health inspiration, according to poll results by Fitness Magazine. That’s not surprising. Aniston works out with Mandy Ingber, a popular yoga and fitness instructor in Los Angeles, and is known to wake up at dawn for a two-hour workout session. Not to mention she’s maintained a fabulous yoga-sculpted bod for her entire film career.

It’s a new year with new fitness goals to achieve. Finding a workout buddy is the first thing you should do before embarking on a new exercise routine — someone who you can rely on to be there for you and someone who can rely on you. Since we all can’t have Jennifer Aniston and Mandy Ingber as workout buddies, here are four criteria for snagging the perfect exercise companion:

1. Shares the same goals/passions. Being on the same wavelength about what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it will go far in the long run. If you plan on getting ripped to compete (and win) the Spartan Death Race, while your partner plans on dropping 10 pounds to fit into her wedding dress, you’re going to have a problem.

2. Has a major PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). Staying positive before, during and after you exercise, every time you exercise, is hard to do on your own. Having a buddy to push you out the door to the gym, cheer you on while you finish your last interval and pat you on the back afterward for a job well done makes working up a sweat so much more pleasant and motivating! Don’t forget to return the favor; pushing each other will keep you focused!

3. Is a good communicator. Open communication is key to any relationship, and a workout buddy is not any different. You should mesh well and not be afraid to speak your mind about a workout routine. Finding that special someone who you can complain to and/or brag to (and vice versa) can lead to more efficient ways to reach your goals.

4. Accessible. Being stood up by your gym partner is disheartening and can ruin your fitness mojo if done on a regular basis. Make sure that they live relatively close to you and are available when you are.

Hook up digitally
Your friends and family don’t make the cut? Check out websites, such as exercisefriends.com and fitlink.com workout-partners, which cater to health-minded people looking for workout buddies interested in similar activities near you. [Disclaimer: Always be aware of the risks associated with an Internet relationship!]

Once you do find your ideal buddy, stay in touch via social media. If you’re feeling a sugar-craving coming on, or you had a bad day at work and need an emergency workout, call, tweet or post an alert on their Facebook wall!