ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – There’s an emerging trend in fitness training that doesn’t require a subscription or special equipment, but it’s been proven to keep people on track with their fitness goals. What’s the magic formula? Accountability partners. A February 2018 study in the Journal of Health Communication found that 54 percent of more than 700 employees involved in a 15-week weight loss program lost more weight and inches when they had a weight-loss “buddy” than those without buddy support.
“It’s like having an extra brain with extra motivation,” said Carrie Kilby, division chief for the Health Education and Application Division at the Army Public Health Center here. “My partner and I are both members of a gym that includes functional fitness with modification options as our fitness levels are different. We can both get a good workout while cheering each other on. Without her, I wouldn’t have the motivation to put in the extra work that is getting me to my fitness goals faster.” Amy Ingersoll, a health educator with the Fort Drum Army Wellness Center, encourages her clients to do anything that helps keep them motivated. “An accountability partner is anyone or anything that helps keep you accountable to your goals. A friend, family member, Army Wellness Center health educator or an app on your phone,” said Ingersoll.
Chris Ramie, director of the Fort Drum AWC, agreed, “It’s important to have something that keeps you on track, no matter what that is.” Maj. Tony George, senior acquisition officer in the Aviation and Fires Directorate of the U.S. Army Evaluation Center at the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command here, regularly works out with two fellow Soldiers at ATEC – Maj. Jennifer Brewster, a military evaluation officer in the Future Vertical Lift Division, and Capt. Michael Kim, a military evaluation officer in the Long Range Fires Division.
“We push each other to learn new skills, we push each other to attend classes on a regular basis, and when someone skips class, they often hear about missing out on an opportunity to get better,” said George. Brewster says having an accountability partner directly impacts her success in achieving fitness goals. “I know Tony and Mike are expecting me to be at gym class which increases my motivation to attend,” said Brewster. “I push myself harder during workouts knowing my partners are pushing themselves as well.”