Did you know that at least half of those who start an exercise program will quit within the first three to six months? Many will probably lose interest and motivation or overdo it within the first few weeks and retreat well before they even reach the three month mark. Sounds optimistic, huh? You’re probably thinking, “Way to inspire us!”
The good news is – it doesn’t have to be that way for you. Making physical activity a regular and consistent part of your life can be quite a challenge, just like changing any other kind of habit. It is a lifestyle change and therefore is affected by many personal and environmental factors. The first thing you can do is recognize that there are going to be hiccups and life “interferences” along the way. We tend to be extremely hard on ourselves and when we miss a few workouts, we succumb to defeat and label ourselves as failures. Falling off the exercise wagon happens to everyone. Recognize that, move forward and jump back on!
Exercising with other people can be an extremely effective way to help you adhere to an exercise program. While some of us may prefer time to ourselves, research shows that the majority, especially those new to exercise, prefer and have more success working out in a group setting. Engaging in group workouts can meet more than just our physical needs – it can help us socially and emotionally as well. Also think about time management. Lack of time is the number one perceived exercise barrier. What if you could exercise, meet new people with common interests, socialize and catch up with your friends and family all at the same time?
Your workout buddies can also become a tremendous support system for you. You may find yourself feeling accountable to your workout partners and think twice about skipping a session. When you’re feeling tired or unmotivated, you’ll have cheerleaders on your side. Having your accomplishments witnessed and recognized by others is icing on the cake.
It is not surprising that one of the strongest trends in the fitness field right now is group programs. Many fitness centers and studios, including St. Laurent Health and Performance, offer group programs and personal training. At our studio, in addition to private, (one-on-one) personal training, we offer semi-private (groups of 2-4) and group training, (groups of 5+). Training in groups can also be more budget friendly than individual training. So if you have a few friends or family members that have been talking about starting to exercise or taking their training to the next level, recruit them and get going!