Updated: Sep 29, 2021
The communities you join, the people you surround yourself with have a great impact on your life. This is certainly true when it comes to health and wellness. From the dishes that show up at the potluck, to the activities you gather for, to the places you congregate, the decisions of the group dictate so much about the health outcomes of your time with them.
If you want to fortify your fitness and health, think about strengthening your ties to healthy communities.
How to Get Started
If you aren’t already surrounded by people who are like-minded in their health and fitness goals, it’s time to forge some new connections. There are places you can go, like your local gym, Pilates studio, yoga studio, or any other number of businesses that offer healthy activities.
You can also join a group that’s focused on the types of activities that appeal to you. Hiking, running, cycling, walking, and so many other types of outdoor recreation and athletic groups are abundant just about everywhere.
Meeting up with these groups is a guarantee that you’ll get some great movement in your life, and the momentum of being with others who share this interest builds the motivation. The enthusiasm begets more enthusiasm.
Not only are groups excellent for regularly getting you out and moving, but you’re also likely to learn about other opportunities or fun events. Clubs and athletic groups are often tuned in to what's going on; they’re great resources. Similarly, you can learn about what adventures, activities, and challenges others group members are pursuing, and it may open you to a whole new world of fun that you didn’t know about before.
It Is Better with Friends
Sometimes it’s wonderful to spend your movement and fitness time solo. Many people love the meditative quality of just getting out on their own, using it as a time to regroup, clear their head, and release the stress of the day, without having to engage with anyone else. We hear you!
We also know that doing activities with others brings its own sort of joy that you just don’t find elsewhere. Encouraging each other to finish a hard effort, experiencing a gorgeous view or a fleeting rainbow together, sharing the satisfaction and joy of moving your body in a healthy way: there’s an extra boost and bond that comes from doing things with community.
The Power of Accountability
Whether you strengthen your healthy community bonds by developing new relationships or by tapping into the friend group you already have, a huge benefit to planning fitness activities with others is accountability.
Most of us are far more likely to stick with a commitment or habit if we have other people relying on us to be there or to keep at something. Where we might talk ourselves out of that Pilates class, early morning run, or after-work gym session, if someone is waiting for us, we’re much, much more likely to show.
Participate in a Group Goal
Some groups form around a goal: a local 5k, a cross-country ski race, a golf tournament, a walk for a cause. Having a shared focus spurs momentum and acts like an accountability booster: you’re showing up because you told your friends you’d be there, and you’re showing up because there’s a shared goal everyone is working toward. It’s double the reasons.
Be the Change You Want to See
Now, maybe you’re not a group joiner and you have a wonderful crowd you love hanging out with all the time. But, they don’t make the types of healthy choices you want to implement in your life.
Be the one to make it happen. If happy hour is the go-to gathering, initiate a run or yoga class before. If you meet for coffee, take your cups to go and get in a nice walk or hike. Or get your pals to join a club, group, or team with you. You may be surprised at how much you all enjoy the healthy changes this spurs.
Community Becomes Lifestyle
It’s much easier to establish routines and habits that are similar to those around you. Surrounding yourself with health-minded people will only serve to reinforce your healthy path, too.
If you want to create a healthy lifestyle, engage with healthy communities.