Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Hi all! Once again it's time for the next (and last) installment of the Why Exercise series. In this article, you will find out why grabbing a buddy or working out with a group can be very helpful in making progress towards a fitness goal.
You may wonder why a gym runs occasional specials for adding a person onto a membership or dropping an enrollment fee. Well wonder no more. Their reasoning serves more than one purpose. Is it to draw in new members and make a bit more profit? You bet! But that is only part of the equation.
If you have been following my blog for the past month or so, you may have noticed a pattern. We have explored the entire body from the outside in and discovered from many views why it is critical to move around. The focus of this post is the social aspect.
We all know that having friends can improve ones outlook on life. They help you through tough decisions, support you when things don't go as planned and encourage you to keep going. Friends laugh and play together, hug each other, share deep secrets and sometimes even cry with one another.
However, what happens when that BFF moves away and/or you slowly just drift apart? Here's where exercise can help. It has been proven time and again that by keeping moving, symptoms of depression and loneliness are minimized. And what better way to find a new friend than getting out of the house for a workout?
A few blogs ago, I quoted the person who inspired me to start teaching group fitness classes as saying "Exercise makes you happy!" While that is accurate it is not entirely true because exercising with friends makes you happier! Humans as a whole are social beings and enjoy being in the presence of others. So the next time you feel like something or someone is missing in your life, a trip to the gym or your local park may be just what the doctor ordered!
As a group fitness instructor, I have seen joy in people's faces when they work out together. In a small group setting everyone becomes an extended family with a common interest. In this format you are sure to make a new friend or two. While larger sized classes found in most fitness facilities don't have the same tight knit comraderie, you are typically either partnered up or in slightly larger groups than the other format so there are far more possibilities to find accountability partners at your fitness level who will challenge and encourage you to do your best. Once you get to know those around you, class becomes "the social hour you can't miss." And it's far healthier than sitting at a bar drowning your sorrows.
I'm not saying that you have to participate in a group fitness class the next time you hit the gym, just that when you get up, get out and get moving be open to a little socialization because you never know who you might meet. Many gym goers have found contractors, employment opportunities, living spaces, medical professionals, significant others, training partners, and the like that can provide help beyond just being a smiling face.
A while back, I had a beautiful new roof put on my house by someone I met while taking a bootcamp class. Because we were gym buddies first, I paid a lot less money for their work than I would have going through a larger chain. Additionally, I helped a small business owner so it was a win-win for everyone involved. And they did two of my neighbors houses as well. Bonus!
So in wrapping up the five W's of exercise series, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to consistent exercise regardless of who you are, what workouts you perform, where they take place, when you do them, or even why. I encourage all of you, my followers, to create your own "W's" and, as we travel through future posts, see your fitness journey in a whole new light.
I'll be back in two weeks. But until then...
Why do you exercise?