“Oh the weather’s turned bad. I’ll go swimming another day.”
“The gym membership’s too expensive! And I don’t fancy yoga.”
“I’m really tired, maybe I’ll start some other time.”

Who doesn’t have a family or friend who could use some motivation to get active? We know that The Body Mass Index (BMI) is widely regarded as the quickest way to measure obesity. What really got us sitting up was when we read that according to the Singapore General Hospital, Asians in particular generally register higher percentages of body fat as opposed to Caucasians, where a reading of 27.5 kg/m2 or more already represents a high risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. And in a report by The Lancet journal, the number of people globally with a BMI over 30 stands at 641 million in 2014, a sharp rise from 105 million in 1975.

A healthy support system might be all they need to get going on their fitness journey, let’s see how we can play a part today!

1. Do It Together

It’s the first and most crucial step: getting them to say yes. A typical work day can be draining, so there must be an incentive to hit the gym rather than lounging by the sofa. A good fitness buddy will lead by example for an all-rounded fitness and health regime, offering to eat, cook and shop with them. Share your decisions on healthier food choices, little tips and tricks you’ve discovered to make exercise more fun, and how you overcame your fitness obstacles. It’s about caring about the state of a person, and not if he or she actually works out. Of course, you can ensure they stay active by taking classes together, checking in on each other’s fitness tracker updates, and even sharing workout playlists.

2. Always Look For The Good

Credit: Corinne Kutz

The beginning’s always the hardest, and the likelihood of quitting working out also the highest. So learn to encourage by looking at where he or she has done well, rather than where they’ve failed. Something to cheer about, rather than wearing them out emotionally too. When there’s a lack of progress, or a clear signal that they’ve lost interest, ask “what’s the obstacle you can’t seem to get over?” or “how about we switch to daily walks after work instead?”.

3. Make It Fun

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It’s not always about who clocked more distance on the treadmill, or who survived the week on the lowest calories. This might work for a short while, but it will surely lose steam once somebody consistently loses. Ideally you want to partner with somebody slightly fitter than you, and with a level you can actually achieve.

Why not have a win-win workout instead? Instead of who stretches the most, how about who comes up with the most creative stretch? Instead of who ate better, how about who came up with the yummiest low calorie meal instead? How about setting reasonable individual fitness goals for both of you, and then going for a satay treat once you both hit them?

4. Keep Your Motivation Running

Credit: David Marcu

Above all, it is still your health that matters most. If your fitness buddy constantly whines, complains and radiates negative energy, it can potentially dampen your own routine, no matter how much you love staying fit. So apart from exercising with this buddy, do make sure to give yourself some days for your own workouts too.

5. Keep Every Date

Credit: Eric Rothermel

Consistency is key, which is why when you pick a fitness buddy, it’s best if he or she stays or works close by – so there’s a lower chance of breaking a date. Once you cancel a fitness meet up due to that urgent meeting, or if you are just feeling blue, then the momentum is quickly lost. Pick a date and time, then stick to it!