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If maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is a struggle for you, or if you keep falling off the fitness wagon, then forming or joining an existing fitness team might be the ideal solution for you.
Maybe it’s time to switch it up and try a team fitness approach.
Simply put, joining forces with others who share similar health and fitness goals can help you in a multitude of ways. If you want to be fit for life, not just a few weeks, then a team approach to fitness can be an invaluable resource. Becoming part of a group will help on days when you feel like you want to quit. Your fitness team, or fitness buddy, will give you the support you need and help you stay accountable to your activity goals. Not to mention, working out with others can be far more fun than on your own!
In my experience as both an athlete and a mom to four kids, I can tell you that nothing beats a team approach. They say it takes a village to raise a child. So, you can imagine that in the first two years of raising my triplets, my army of friends and family really helped keep me afloat. Nothing beats a group of people who motivate you to do better. It’s why some studies suggest that people may lose weight more easily (and have an easier time keeping the weight off) by enlisting the help of a friend or loved one.
Why, then, do we so often struggle and go at it alone when trying to get fit and stay fit? A number of factors could be at work. We’ve been taught from childhood to try and be as independent and self-sufficient as possible. At times, we consider our journey to fitness intensely personal, and it’s difficult to open up and let others become part of that journey.
Well, banish those thoughts right now! While it’s important to be self-motivated, disciplined and hardworking, it’s also important to focus on lifelong fitness. And if your friends and family are part of your life, why not also make them part of your fitness team?
Here are a few of my favorite tips for being a great team player when it comes to fitness.
Pick your fitness goal
This is the most important step on your journey to becoming healthy and active. If you don’t know exactly what you want to achieve, how will you ever get started? Write down a list of specific goals and get to work!
Find a fitness team or create one
In a perfect world, you will immediately find a group with the same fitness goals, abilities and availability as you. In the real world it may not be that simple. Your group can be as small as two people or as large as several hundred, but you must pick the style of team that fits with your schedule. There are many options, from a fitness buddy to an online support group, a fit club, a nutrition club or a simple get-together with family members or friends.
Give more than you expect to receive
You may be joining a group because you need help, but I believe that if you join a fitness team and give 100% effort to helping others, you will benefit greatly in turn. Volunteer your skills and always offer a helping hand when your team needs support in any form.
Be organized and on time
If your exercise group meets at a set time, you must show respect to your fellow group members by being punctual and having everything you need to participate. There is nothing worse than waiting for a fitness team member to show up for a run, only to find that when they finally arrive they have forgotten their running shoes! If you want to get results, being committed and accountable are two very important qualities.
Maintain a positive attitude
Always show up with a positive attitude. Yes, it may be cold, you might be tired, and maybe you’d be happier lazing on the couch, but don’t let that affect your teammates! People feed off energy. When you’re positive, you increase the likelihood that your fitness team will be positive too, which is critical for making fitness fun. Make a commitment to creating a fun, healthy environment for your teammates.
Set some rewards
Think up some fun ways to reward yourself and your fitness team for working hard. Yes, improved health and fitness are the ultimate and most incredible reward of all, but trust me when I say that looking forward to a monthly treat or get-together will help to keep all of you motivated and working hard!
Listen to your group
A great team player knows when to talk and when to listen. If you make a commitment to being mentally present and in the moment with your fitness team, you may learn something new and create lasting friendships.
I can’t emphasize enough how much fun working with a group can be, especially when you’re committed to being a great team player. Good luck putting together your fitness team, and don’t forget to be creative. You can include your coworkers, your kids, and even the family dog! You don’t have to tackle fitness alone. You can add the Discover Good network to your team too – because Susan and I are committed to helping you achieve your healthy, active life.