Staying Socially Fit

Sam Stephens

February 2020

Why sweating with others should be part of your weekly fitness routine.

Long term, consistent success in fitness requires us to establish some level of ownership over our exercise routines. When results really matter, we find ways to get the time in and do the work necessary to see real change. Because most of us lead busy lives, this ‘ownership’ often translates into many lifting sessions and runs performed alone. However, sweating in isolation isn’t bad.

It’s during these unaccompanied workouts that we get to test our mental toughness, push our physical boundaries, and connect a bit more with ourselves. There’s something really special about designing a brutal workout meant to kick our ass and then being elated when we crush it.

Self-driven, hyper-focused, high intensity exercise sessions are cathartic, rewarding, and empowering. But fitness isn’t always about maximizing effort or efficiency. While not discussed quite as often, the social side of fitness can be just as important as effective programming.

We might never be more ‘in the zone’ than when we’re by ourselves, but there’s no setting more conducive to learning, motivation, and a feeling of belonging than one created by a passionate group of like-minded people. And because we’re all humans prone to error, a support system built to correct mistakes, provide encouraging feedback, and hold us accountable is always helpful. You don’t know what you don’t know, so put yourself in an environment to learn from others that are more experienced.

If you don’t currently participate in some type of group exercise activity, go seek one out. If you’re an avid lifter, find a local running group or yoga class to join. If weight training is outside of your normal routine, sign up for a highly rated and reviewed lifting class. Do fitness how you enjoy it the most, but don’t do all of it completely alone.

Explore new spaces, learn new things, meet new people, build new friendships, and become part of great communities.