Have you ever heard the expression “find your strength in numbers”?
Exercising with groups holds you accountable for showing up, provides support and motivation, and encourages you to succeed at your goals. Connecting through exercise involves participating in an activity while making social connections. This ultimately improves your overall health as social interaction strongly influences mental and physical health and is said to be the most important factor in longevity. Hence why it’s important for us to talk about ways you can connect through exercise!
Join a Walking or Running Club
Joining a neighborhood walking club is a great way to become more active and connect with people in your community. If you’re traveling, consider going on a walking tour (basically sightseeing on feet) to explore tourist destinations! Running clubs provide coaching and motivation to keep you on track and succeed at your goals. Go running tours is an excellent way to become a tourist in your own city or explore cities while traveling.
Join a Group Fitness Class
For people who need a more structured exercise plan, fitness classes are a great way to stay active on a consistent schedule. There are tons of options when it comes to fitness classes, such as yoga, pilates, cycling, dance (e.g. Zumba), water aerobics, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts, which alternate periods of activity with periods of rest for set ratios of time, include CrossFit and bootcamp. CrossFit is high-intensity strength training and conditioning that focuses on varied functional movements. Bootcamp integrates HIIT, however these classes are much longer and follow less formal time structures. Check with your local gyms and studios what classes they offer!
Join a Local Recreational Sports League
If you have more free time on your hands, joining a local recreational sports league can be fun with a group of friends. Recreational sports leagues are typically for leisure and enjoyment rather than playing at a highly competitive level. There are many options including basketball, soccer, flag football, volleyball, kickball, bowling, table tennis, and frisbee golf/disc golf, among more. Check with your city’s recreation department what athletic programs are offered in your area!
Participate in a Virtual Event
Virtual events include synchronous and asynchronous activities. Asynchronous activities/challenges are a great option for people who prefer to exercise on their own time/schedule. Synchronous activities/workouts via Facetime, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. provide the feeling of being in a class with a group and instructor but from the comfort of your own home. Virtual events are an easy and convenient way to exercise as you can join from any location and go at your own pace!
Participate in Charity or Fundraising Events
Getting involved in charity and fundraising events allows you to connect with the organization and your community as well as gives you a purpose to exercise that will benefit both you and others. Some examples of these events include golf outings, half marathons/marathons, triathlons, walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, and Zumbathon. If you’re in the Chicago area, Wellness4every1 has monthly fundraising events that are often fitness related, and you can give back to Chicago Public Schools!