Funny enough, the idea for this post came when I was running the other day. That happens to me a lot! There’s something about the mind being able to wander while the body is occupied, I guess. Anyway, I feel like I get all my ideas for content when I run, so I guess I just need to keep that up!
Here’s the thing: I’ve been working out consistently for the past ten years, and I was thinking about all the different programs and gyms that I have belonged to and what was the common denominator that kept me going. I’ve moved 3 times in ten years and belonged to three separate gyms, worked part time and had to exercise at home, or I have used a program on my own. So what tied these together to keep me coming back each day/week/year?
I think the true key to keeping up a fitness schedule long term is to find the community that will push you and keep you accountable.
I have found community in a lot of different ways over the years, and I don’t think you have to do a certain type of class or program to get it. You just have to find what works for you and then find people within that area to support you (and you them.) You need someone to call you out if you don’t go! And by call out, I don’t mean to shame you, I mean you need people that genuinely care about you and want you to reach your goals, people who push you to be the best you that you can be.
Over the years I have done a bunch of different things fitness wise (it’s good to keep things fresh!) Here is what I have done and the community that came with each one…
Body Pump classes/Boot Camp at the YMCA: this is how I got started being consistent after I had my second baby. What you’ll find if you start attending classes at a gym are people who go there religiously and who can keep you accuntable. They will look for you and you will look for them. They will often become your friends and you will look forward to seeing them each day. This is personally my favorite part, because it builds friendships and you get in shape at the same time!
Bikini Body Guide on my own at a gym: I loved doing this program, because there is a huge community online that is there to support you, and if you seek them out you will make friends instantly. This is a very popular online program and comes with an app or guides you can use. I personally love to go somewhere and work out, so I would go and do these wokrouts at the gym on my own. The truth is, the more you show your face at the gym, the more you see the “regulars”, and they will become your friends. Most people at the gym are doing a program of their own if they aren’t doing a class or have a personal trainer, and this program is great. I did about 4 rounds of it and it always challenged me.
P.S. One thing I advise you is to never worry how you look doing your thing at the gym, or worry about what others think about you. The gym has its mix of people who are supportive and people who judge others. Your job is to not care about the judgy people;)
Beachbody workouts at home: this is personally my least favorite way to work out (only because I like the motivation of being around others!), but when I was working part time in Michigan as a substitute teacher I had to get up early to fit in a workout at home and this worked. There are tons of different workouts you can choose and they can be as hard or as easy as you want. I’d recommend finding a coach that has a great community, because that is where the magic is! Sign up during a challenge and become a part of that community, that way you ahve accountability and you can build relationships that way. If you need a great Beachbody coach, I recommend my friend Allison. She’s a mama of 3 in her 40’s and looks AMAZING and has built a wonderful community of women. This is a great option if you prefer to work out at home and need help figuring out what to do.
CrossFit: this is what I am currently doing and where I have seen the best community, personally. Most CrossFit gyms are fairly small and classes tend to have the same people attending them each day. I find the most personal coaching here if you are willing to learn, and attention to detail and form. Once you are there long enough your coach will know what you can do and will push you to work harder. The class I go to has an age range of about 19-70, so it can work for anyone, and we all really root for each other. Rarely does a day go by where someone doesn’t say, “are you going to be here tomorrow?” That helps a lot with momentum! Crossfit is really like a family, and you can’t beat the atmosphere.
Running/Training for a 1/2 marathon: this is what I have been doing on the side (you can read my post HERE about my first 1/2 marathon!) What made this easier was I trained with my sister in law. We live half a country away, but came up with a training schedule and did virtually the same thing each week in our different states. We had the same race to train for, so it was easy to get out there and run because we both knew the other was doing the same thing. Having her training “beside me” gave me a lot of incentive to keep going, even when I didn’t want to.
That’s it! Whatever you decide to do to get fit and take care of your body workout wise, find the community of people that are available and introduce yourself. Search out the ones that smile, or the people online that genuinely care how you do. The friendships you build will be some of the best in your life, because you will have a common goal: to be your best physical self.
Tell me, what is your fitness goal in 2019?
P.S. Don’t forget to grab my free guide on all the gear I used to train for my half marathon…you can get it below!