Health Tips: Why You Need an Accountability Partner for Physical Fitness

In Accountability, Articles, Culture, Life Skills, Spiritual Growth by Rob Nairn

When it comes to physical fitness, do you find it challenging to stay focused and/or motivated? Have you tried various programs but are unable to follow through? Luckily, there is a way to change all that through the process of accountability.

Research has shown that people who train on their own last eight weeks before calling it quits (Morales, 2013). An accountability partner is someone who will come alongside to motivate, encourage, and keep you focused on the fitness goals you want to obtain. They are someone you can have a constant dialogue with where feedback and check-ups are constant so that you do not deviate from your goals.

You might ask yourself, how does having an accountability partner prove to be beneficial in physical fitness? Deciding to have an accountability partner provides motivation and support. A supportive accountability partner provides encouragement when you are participating in physical fitness. For example, if you are walking or running and start to feel fatigued – playing a sport, or at the gym – your partner is there to offer encouragement and push you through to achieve your goals.

Accountability also offers enjoyment to your physical fitness ventures. Let’s face it, physical fitness is meant to be enjoyable, and doing it with someone will undoubtedly add excitement. Collectively, you can come up with new and different exercises to change your fitness plan. Research shows that your body adapts and becomes more efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again (Freedman, 2018).

Canceling on your own plans is easy, but canceling on your partner is not. Pick a time with your partner and stick with it. Accountability leads you to be loyal to your partner and your goal by following through on your word. Commitment also comes into play as you are choosing to be there for your partner.

Someone once told me they do not attend a gym because they feel intimidated. Their words were, “I am unsure of what to do, and everyone seems to know what they are doing.” Accountability partners offer each other a sense of security and confidence. Physical fitness environments can feel intimidating at first, but you can combat that with support from your partner.

An accountability partner can provide you with protection if you run into any trouble, including medically, physically, or environmentally. Whether you are hiking, jogging outside together, or working out in a gym, having a partner can offer protection and support in any unforeseen circumstance.

Now the question becomes, who do you choose? Ideally, someone with similar goals and schedules. This will make it easier to set a scheduled time to meet on a weekly basis.

Secondly, choose someone you trust. Having a person you trust is crucial as it allows you to open up and share difficulties you may be having. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Thirdly (and depending on your goals), you may also want to find someone who can give and take constructive criticism. The two of you should feel comfortable to speak the truth, even if it stings a little. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Accountability forces you to be humble and to take feedback and possibly advice from your partner.

Now that you have an accountability partner, you want to lay out your fitness goals and what the expectations are. Your goals should be specific, attainable, and realistic. An example of a specific goal can be: “I would like to be physically active three times per week for thirty minutes.” Ideally, you want to set small and attainable goals.

On a personal level, when I set out to lose weight, my accountability partner knew my goal and encouraged me to engage in high interval training, otherwise known as H.I.T. High interval training requires you to perform ten to fifteen minutes on a treadmill two to three times a week. Slowly, but surely, I started to lose weight, and in about eight months, I lost thirty pounds. From the beginning, I set a specific goal that was attainable and realistic.

Although accountability is important in physical fitness, equally as important is spiritual accountability. Spiritual accountability can radically change our lives and how we walk with God. Even though we need our own quiet time with God, accountability offers support through prayer and the feeling that we are not alone in our struggles. When we have spiritual influences in our life, it puts us on the straight and narrow path towards living a godly life. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

About
Rob Nairn
Rob Nairn is a fitness enthusiast, residing in Winnipeg, whose passion is to see others reach their physical potential and goals. Rob works for the City of Winnipeg (Water & Waste) and is in the process of completing his personal training certification. Rob is a lifelong Christian and attends Gateway Church with his wife.
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Rob Nairn
Rob Nairn is a fitness enthusiast, residing in Winnipeg, whose passion is to see others reach their physical potential and goals. Rob works for the City of Winnipeg (Water & Waste) and is in the process of completing his personal training certification. Rob is a lifelong Christian and attends Gateway Church with his wife.