When it comes to progressing and reaching your goals, support matters. Align yourself with groups of people who have similar goals and you’ll find the accountability and motivation you need to succeed. According to a study by the American Society of Training and Development, you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. Imagine how much that increases when you commit to an entire group of people. The trick is, however, finding the group that fits your needs and personality.
There are many benefits of community fitness, but it can be hard to pinpoint the best group for you when there are so many workout opportunities around town. Sometimes, you just know it when you see it.
Many of Oso’s new members say they initially wanted to try out every gym in the area. When they came to Oso for the first time, however, it was a no-brainer. Other times, it takes a bit longer to feel committed to a group. There’s no harm in trying out different things and evaluating what will benefit you and your needs most.
Here’s Why You Should Join a Fitness Community
A workout community is more than a group exercise class. In a class, you’ll still be gathering with others, but it’s easy to be a regular attendee and still not feel a sense of camaraderie among those involved. A united group will bring feelings of fellowship and a common goal or interest. Studies show that regular group physical activity improves physical, mental, and social health. Community fitness contributes to social relationships and the benefits of having each other’s backs.
You are more likely to stick with a workout when you have a group of people relying on you. Seeing others fight through a tough set gives us the belief that we can do it, too. Our own self-image is enhanced as we watch our peers and follow along.
You also find people who are able to empathize completely when things get tough. Every single person in your group has come across obstacles, and you can easily find people that have personal experience and advice on your exact struggle.
How to Find the Right Fitness Community for You
How you find what works best for you will be unique – depending on your workout preferences and aspirations. Here are three steps to decide which type of workout environment will best contribute to your wellness goals. Each aspect listed below presents something to consider about what will fit you.
1. Identify your workout personality type.
Are you looking for a workout group that focuses on results, or on building strength without tracking numbers? Do you like a high-energy team environment, or do you prefer to focus within yourself during a workout? Would you rather wake up before the sun or hammer out your workouts after work each day? These are the sort of questions that present themselves when you evaluate your workout personality. It can be good to mix things up and get out of your comfort zone, but your ideal community will make you feel comfortable and confident.
2. Step out of your comfort zone and try everything available.
The best type of workout community provides multiple types of exercise groups in the same house. From strength training to rock climbing, you get to try them all. Not only will you be able to avoid boredom and monotony, but you will also experience a ton of great things designed for friendship and fitness.
Some gyms even have social events outside of purely working out. Oso, for example, is holding these kinds of events each month:
- Nutrition workshops
- Taiji workshops
- Mediation workshops and guided meditation sessions
- LGBTQIA+ meet-ups
- Chess club nights
- BIPOC meet-ups
- Game nights
- Women’s meet-ups
- Dance classes
- Movie night
Most gyms don’t go above and beyond in the social aspect like this, but it sure adds a lot of value for you. Not only do you gain the opportunity to find your perfect fitness community, but there are additional opportunities already set out to get to know your workout buddies a bit more.
The point is, it’s worth a try. While it’s possible to have a bad class or an awkward conversation once in a while, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Even if an early morning Bootcamp session seems intimidating, remember that everyone is there for the same reason you are. Community encouragement can make any unattainable goal seem within reach.
3. Don’t give up after the first session.
Keep in mind that workout classes are constantly being redesigned and polished by the instructors. Sometimes they experiment with different exercises and routines, and that may clash with what you’re comfortable with.
You don’t have to reject a community just because of one poor experience. Commit yourself to sample a variety of options for a certain amount of time. Then you can evaluate and decide whether or not it’s the community for you.
It can take a while to build relationships with people in a fitness environment, only because you’re spending most of your time grinding rather than talking. However, studies show that it is easier to relate when you have gone through the same perceived struggle. Over time, those strangers in a workout class will become the people who you look forward to seeing before the session begins (and high-five when it’s over).
Your Ideal Group is Already Out There (and maybe there’s more than one)
You’ll know that you’ve found a good group when you feel genuinely motivated and content with the other members of the community. You’ll leave each class feeling capable, strong, and proud of what you are achieving. Knowing your own personality and preferences will lead you to find the right groups every time.