This Lark DPP mission has been all about staying motivated and sticking to your exercise plan. Another great way is to work out with a group. The benefits of exercising with people are numerous. For example:
- It can be more fun, making you more likely to continue.
- It increases accountability, so you are less likely to skip workouts or quit early.
- You can learn a lot from others.
- You may push yourself harder.
You do not need to break the bank to join a group of like-minded fitness friends. The Lark DPP check-in mentioned that many free opportunities are out there. In addition, there are many low-cost ways to get active with a group. Plus, you can still do the types of exercises you like. These are a few ideas to try.
Check a Community Center
Community, senior, or recreation centers, often located at local parks, can have free or low-cost classes of all types. Classes may be classic fitness ones, such as aerobics, water aerobics, or body sculpting, or they may be sneaky fitness classes that give you a workout while you have fun. Examples include zumba, hip-hop dancing, and line dancing classes.
Check Your Benefits
You may be eligible for free or discounted gym memberships and similar perks based on your health insurance or benefits from your employer. Medicare recipients may be eligible to join Silver Sneakers, which includes free gym memberships in many locations. Employers may offer discounted or free gym memberships, too. Most gyms offer group fitness classes for no additional charge
Are your neighbors out walking on their own or with dogs? Might your coworkers be interested in walking with you at lunch? Anyone who is around you may be willing to be your exercise buddies. Start with your mutual desire to get active, and build a friendship from there.
Hang with Friends
You are going to spend the time with them anyway. Why not make it healthy time? It is simple enough to make a point of doing something active with your friends every time you see them. It could be taking a hike before grabbing coffee, walking after you eat dinner together, doing a few laps around the mall before you hit the stores, or taking a dance break by turning on the radio in the middle of a quilting party.
Join a League
What better to build camaraderie, feel needed, and get fit while you have fun than playing in a sports league? Municipal parks can be a first stop when searching for a league to play softball, volleyball, basketball, pickle ball, and more. No worries if you have no skills. There are usually leagues for every level.
The internet can be a wonderful resource for finding exercise buddies. Local directories can alert you to specialty shops, such as running shoe stores and bicycle shops, that sponsor regular group runs, walks, and rides for all levels.
Online forums and directories help you connect to people in your area with similar exercise goals and interests as you. However, stick to reputable, trustworthy sites, and be careful not to provide personal information on online venues.