30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge Day 8: Why Friendship Is Vital to Your Weight Loss

Katie on Livestrong.com Community/Facebook on computer
You are not alone in this! (Image: Kristen Schellenberg / LIVESTRONG.COM)

Having support is essential. At work, in the gym and throughout life in general, it's much easier to commit to something and stick with it if you have someone at your side encouraging you.

In fact, a 2016 Scottish study from the University of Aberdeen found that people who found a new exercise buddy (as opposed to sticking out their own routine alone) increased the amount of exercise they did.

Additionally, a 2012 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that people who worked out with a friend improved their overall performance when working out on a stationary bike six days a week.

Tips for Finding Your Own Workout Buddy

OK, so you know how great workout buddies are. Now what? It's not like we're still on the elementary school playground where you can just walk up to anyone and ask to be friends (well, maybe you can — more power to you!).

But if you need a little help finding someone who shares your desire to hit the gym more often and eat just a little bit healthier every day, here are some ideas to help get you started:

–Download an app. Mobile applications like Bvddy, Meetup, Strava or WellSquad put similarly minded people near you at your fingertips.
–Go the desktop route. If apps aren't your thing, try sites like November Project, ExerciseFriends.com or SparkPeople.com. Just double check to make sure they're not a fitness + dating site (unless you're single and that's what you're looking for).
–Search your network. Ask family, friends or coworkers if they either want to join you on your wellness journey or know someone who does.
–Take group classes. Show up to the same barre, yoga, indoor cycling or TRX class each week and see who's doing the same thing. Casually strike up a conversation one day and who knows? You might hit things off.
–Start a work(out) club. Use your lunch break to take a walk? Why not start a fit club at your office. You can do daily walks or all commit to doing video workouts (like STRONGER) together.
–Be brave. See someone at the gym who looks like they'd make the perfect workout partner? Gather your courage and ask! Just make sure you're not interrupting their workout.

And make sure you and your fitness buddy are on the same page. A 2010 study from the Journal of Social Sciences found that participants essentially matched the exertion of their partner. So if your workout buddy's not feeling it, chances are your workout could suffer a little bit, too.

Find Support With LIVESTRONG.COM

When you have a group of people who support you and what you’re going through, it’s like having an army backing you up. The LIVESTRONG.COM community and Facebook group is that army.

It’s thousands of people who are starting — or have already been on — a similar journey. They share their experiences and advice on what has worked for them as well as the positive impacts their healthier life choices have had. But they're also open about their challenges and pitfalls, and they help you celebrate your progress and success.

It’s like having your own personal cheer squad available to you 24/7!

Joining is easy, simply go to the LIVESTRONG.COM community. Explore the community forums to join some of the popular topics and conversations. Or for the Facebook group, you can request to join here.

How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge

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Tracking is easy with MyPlate. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

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