As featured in the February 2014 issue of BossFit Magazine.
So we’re a month into 2014. Perhaps you’ve made strides toward those “get healthy in the new year” resolutions or perhaps you started strong January 1, but your time, energy and motivation are beginning to wane. Good news is that the more individual it feels the more universal it probably is. Group exercise, in the traditional sense of a formatted class or just a network of individuals sharing health/fitness goals, facilitates the weight loss process.
Community promotes accountability. To be a part of something bigger than oneself, a group of other people that “get us,” creates a circle of trust among its members. A community need not necessarily be comprised of friends and in fact may be detrimental to our development, despite our best intentions. Friends are apt to be more permission-giving than mere acquaintances and in the pursuit of health, empathy not sympathy is most productive for personal growth.
Camaraderie that breeds friendly competition can also give us a boost when the going gets tough. Push each other to be the best version of your unique selves, but be wary of adopting an “I’ve got to beat so-and-so” attitude because no, you don’t. First, it gets you nowhere. You can only control you so focus on nothing, but that. Second, it’s a waste of energy – a finite resource. Instead, channel that energy toward doing you. This is a mindset switch, but something you choose. Be each other’s support and share in both your successes and struggles.
Accountability creates consistency and consistent action over time gets results. We talk about it [consistency] with relative ease, yet find more difficult to put into practice. Pick a new fitness class to try with a coworker, or schedule a workout with a gym “friend” (they’re aplenty this time of the year, just FYI). No gym access? Not to worry. Throw on your tennis shoes, grab your kid/dog/coworker/significant other and just go for a walk. You’re less likely to blow off your exercise if you know someone else is expecting you.
Results keep us going. Will we be losing weight forever? Of course not! But, motivating results don’t have to be physical in nature. What about more energy? Or reduced hunger and cravings? Quality sleep, less stress, healthier relationships and improved self-confidence, for example, are worth something, too.
When in doubt, just do something. The best kind of exercise is something that you will actually do. So find something you enjoy and do that. Action trumps inaction, always.
Bear in mind, your environment reinforces your habits. Do not underestimate the power of your support network. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Be it family, friends or even complete strangers, you get to choose who you surround yourself with. What are you doing to create an environment conducive to your wellness success? Let me know in the comments below.