Exercising more frequently is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. And many people get off to a strong start in achieving their fitness goals in January. Unfortunately, more than half of those who make a New Year’s resolution do not achieve their goal. The numerous benefits of getting more exercise, including fighting disease, improved sleep and energy levels, and aiding weight loss, are all convincing reasons to stick with that resolution in 2022.
People have a wealth of options to consider when trying to achieve their fitness goals. A standard gym offers all the equipment needed to live a healthy and active lifestyle. At home or online solo fitness options became widely available and much more popular during the pandemic. However, a typical gym could be daunting if you don’t know how to use the equipment and starting out all on your own is difficult if you don’t know where to begin.
The solution? Try a community fitness program.
“Community fitness program” is an intentionally broad term; everyone is different, and the type of program that works best will vary by the individual. There’s yoga, spinning, CrossFit, Zumba – no shortage of choices to try. No matter the exercise, community fitness has been proven to help people stay healthy and fight chronic diseases.
For those new to working out, the coaching provided by community fitness gyms offers a seamless entry to their programs.
At a community gym, members aren’t just a number, and coaches take the time to get to know each member on a personal level. Instead of just hopping into classes, new members will meet with a coach to go over fitness goals, discuss any injuries or health concerns, and demonstrate foundational movements for their program. This helps the coach understand the best way to motivate the member, implement any modifications needed to complete the workout, and develop a consistent schedule to avoid burnout and allow for recovery. For the members, this is an opportunity to learn more about the class and make following the program easier.
Exercise is obviously a key component of a community gym membership, but many community gyms will also put an emphasis on health and wellness. One way this is done is through nutrition counseling. Nutrition and exercise are a tandem that together promotes health and wellness. Your coach can’t be with you 24/7 to monitor your eating, but with nutrition counseling, members can develop a nutrition plan to stick with them throughout the day. Whether you’re looking to slim down or bulk up, the proper exercise program won’t be complete without a complementary nutritional program.
Coaches at a community gym make the program worthwhile, but what makes members stick around, even when life may get in the way, is the community.
At my gym, CrossFit Main Line, we’ve taken our approach to building and supporting an in-person community a step further. We started a Facebook Group to offer members a way to stay engaged when not working out, extending our community beyond the walls of the gym. It’s a place members can discuss the workout of the day, offer healthy recipes they’re using in the kitchen, or share milestones and achievements. This group has been extremely valuable during the pandemic. When government orders shut us down twice in 2020, our members were able to stay connected through the group. Whether it was sharing at-home workouts or creating at-home challenges, our members continued to be each other’s support system.
The more you attend class, you will develop a support system from fellow members. Everyone in the class has been the new person before, and they know how to welcome an unfamiliar face. The more a person goes to the same class, that class time becomes its own subcommunity within the gym. Going to the gym is no longer a chore, but a place to catch up and spend some time with your friends.
It’s never too late to prioritize your health. If regular exercise is your New Year’s resolution, you’re already off to a great start. If you aren’t sure where to begin your fitness journey, I encourage you to try out a community fitness program to help sustain the January momentum through the rest of the year.
Daniel Davidson is the owner of CrossFit Main Line.
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