In an earlier post, we have talked about the reasons behind getting into a fitness club and this current post is about fitness community. You know, nothing good is possible while you are lonely, but enjoying loneliness. As we are here to improve our fitness and shape, let’s see, why a community is needed.
Feel like you’re left standing beside yourself in this pursuit of an active and healthy lifestyle? Meeting your fitness and nutrition goals can be tricky at the best of times, and even more so if you get the sense that you’re in this on your own.
There’s something to be said about that “safety in numbers” adage. I always like to recommend my readers to join in a support group to help prevent things like emotional eating. But finding a circle of like- minded fitness enthu- siasts can also be a great of way of keeping yourself on track, logging your progress, and sounding off in general about your physical frame and structure.
Why Seek Community?
If you need to commiserate, or just plain gab about calories and nutritional choices, doing so with a group of like- minded individuals is a better idea for several reasons. First, you avoid alienating anyone else who might not be on the same page as you. If you’re discussing fitness— asking questions, debating the merits of a diet, breaking down every inch of your routine, and so forth— with a buddy who has similar goals and drive as you in the gym, chances are this person will be more than willing to hash it out with you, no problem.
It’s likely your fitness buddy is as interested/ obsessed with this world as you are, so you’re not necessarily imposing your fitness knowledge and recommendations on them. Some people just don’t want to be judged for the way they eat or lead their lives, so the topic of eating to lose weight or the dos and don’ts of fitness can be an annoying subject for them.
No one likes a self righteous fitness freak, nor do they like being preached to. Weight and lifestyle choices are touchy subjects for some people; for this kind of stuff, it’s best if they seek out advice on their own, rather than have it dumped on them without asking.
Second, by forming a partnership with others in a similar position with similar goals, you’ll reap the benefits of their own advice and experience. No matter how much I think I’ve learned about exercise, motivation, and nutrition, I’m constantly taking note of tips from others in the community and listening to the troubles they’re facing.
I’ve talked about the difference between being on a diet and keeping the pounds off for good. Part of that is doing away with the idea that clean eating and hard exercise is only temporary; rather, this is a new way you’re striving to lead your life from here on out.
It’s certainly difficult to make that lifestyle change, and of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. While you can more easily eliminate unhealthy junk food from your kitchen, you can’t (and shouldn’t want to) do the same with people in your life. How do we cope with our friends’ unhealthy eating choices and sometimes lax approach to physical activity?
Finding or building a community of fitness- minded friends helps you navigate the influence of others in your life. I’m not saying ditch your old buddies because they prefer to sleep in on Saturdays, eat chips, and go out for drinks; rather, make an effort to befriend other avid runners, cyclists, clean eaters, or weight- watchers as well.
Expanding your fitness circle allows you to feel less isolated by the lifestyle choices you’re making. If you’ve felt you had no choice but to go out to that buffet with your existing buddies, now you’ll have another group of pals to socialize with in a healthier way.
Some of you have noted that how much of your current social activities revolve around food and drink and how it can be hard to break old habits, even if you’re suggesting a more active outing. Rightfully so, not everyone likes hiking or playing sports, so it can be difficult to make that change if no one else in your life really enjoys those same activities.
Getting involved with other active individuals, joining the swim team, a class, or other group session can help solve this issue. You can still have fun with your friends who aren’t looking to makeover their fitness life, and you’ll also have the benefit of being around others who are weight- watching as well.
Better still, the more healthy events you can organize with your fitness circle, the more you can opt to get your current friends involved. Living active and eating clean doesn’t mean you have to lead dual lives, but it can be a lot easier to meet your own goals if you surround yourself with good influences.
Friends in the Flesh:
If you can’t synch up with someone in your immediate circle of friends, look to your fitness facility or group classes for others to connect with. After your hot yoga class, chat up another friendly face. Chances are your enthusiasm will be warmly received, so you might just find yourself a pal to hang out with outside of class as well.
If you’re frequenting the gym in general, you can try introducing yourself to some of the staff or trainers on the floor. This is a good alternative for those of you who might be shy about approaching a total stranger; staff and trainers are there to help you, so you should be comfortable asking for advice, or eventually even building a friendship with them.
Some customers at the gym are very into their workouts (myself included), so it’s not always easy to strike up a conversation with someone who’s going hard at their stuff. Instead, try checking out the boards outside the classes or near the entrance to your gym. I’ve seen personal ads for workout buddies, call for members for different fitness clubs or walking groups, and much more posted. If not, join a class to benefit from the social network at the gym. People are generally in these sessions for the community as well as the sweat, so it can be a more natural way of finding a fitness buddy than scouring the weight room.
I’m a fan of online community forums, which offer the opportunities to vent your problems and seek advice from other weight- watchers who are looking to fight the same temptations as you. As a bonus, it can be fairly anonymous. If you’re fairly self- conscious about the ups and downs of your fitness journey, the forums can be the place for you to relate to others in relative confidentiality.
No one in your immediate life needs to know about how you binged last night and now feel horrible about it; you can seek support and advice from the comfort of your own home, without having to divulge your failures or slipups to anyone else you face directly.
If you’re not yet ready to make your weight loss goals public, the online forums can be a great way of etching out a plan that really fits your aims. Your experiments with eating and exercising can be tested and logged in a safe, judgment free environment, so don’t fear asking a stupid question if you’re totally lost and not sure where to begin.
In short, if you’re reading this, then you’ve already discovered that the web is a great outlet to find information, news, tips, and potential friendships with those in the fitness community. I always welcome your feedback and hope that you share your own advice with our fellow readers. Feel free to watch the video below to develop your notion about weight loss.
As I’m going to end this post today, I’ll leave you with these questions: Do you belong to an online fitness forum or community? How has your fitness circle helped you in your journey? Feel free to sound off below.