Every year, so many of us start working out regularly with the intention of making it an addition to our everyday lives. Some of us make it, but many of us stop. We give up. We taper off over time. Just about all of us have experienced this let-down at some point in our lives. Some of us over and over again! So how can we stop the cycle? What does it take to stick with a workout routine?
There’s one secret weapon that many have realized is the trick!
A Workout Community!
Whatever you want to call them: Fitness Families, Communities, Workout Friends, studies have shown that having workout buddies is a great way to stick to your goals! Here are just a few reasons you should snag yourself a workout BFF:
Encouragement and Motivation
Working out on your own, it can be hard to push yourself where you need to go to see change. Your #fitfamily is there when you need that extra push. They understand exactly what you are feeling at that moment. There’s this innate feeling that you are in this together, no matter how grueling. They help you keep going and are always there to congratulate you on your milestones!
When you’re on a workout schedule with the same person (or group of people) every week you develop this expectation of seeing each other. If you start slacking, they will be the first to call you out and get you back in there, because they need you too!
This is something that’s sadly overlooked far too often and although exercise has many mental health benefits on it’s own (a post for another day), having a support system like a fitness family takes it a step further. More often than not, your workout friends become the easiest to talk to. You open up to them easily and connect with them quickly. Your workout buddy is reliably there for you no matter what challenges come your way.
Let’s face it, working out with your Fitness Family is just more fun! You can mix in some new workouts, go hiking together, run a race as a team, all of which can be followed up with drinks! There’s nothing quite like a well deserved treat with the people who helped your earn it!
The Best Places to Find a Workout Community
Boutique Fitness Centers
Smaller, more intimate fitness centers have been popping up all over the place and while they tend to have significantly higher price tags than the big box gyms, they are forming tight knit workout communities that are helping people really reach their fitness goals. My personal favorite is Orangetheory Fitness because it combines the community aspect with personalized interval training and a group coach to push you through the workouts which change daily to keep you motivated. But there are so many, including yoga studios, pilates, crossfit, cycling studios and the newest craze that seems to be popping up everywhere- kickboxing! Take your pick and meet some new people in the process!
Search online and in your city for local running groups (or hiking groups)! A great place to start is Meetup.com. Many areas have groups that are completely free or sometimes just a small fee and lots of times you can form teams for races or plan some fun group adventures together wherever you like!
This is another take on the fitness community aspect that is helping people reach their goals. Companies like Beach Body and my girls over at Tone it Up have created extensive online communities that range from their own message boards on their websites to every single social media platform out there! People are creating social media accounts specifically to log their fitness routines, track their food intake and connect with others who are doing the same! Many times, these online communities lead to in-person fitness friends for life. Always be mindful of your security when meeting someone off of the internet. For your safety, make your first meeting in a group setting or at a workout class.
With all this evidence of the impact of workout friends, it’s pretty clear that we really are #BetterTogether.
So get out there and find your fitness family!