3 Ways to Make Exercise Social

community exercise movement social
Swimming with my family in Lake Superior

Recently, I've been visiting with a lot of friends and family. Sometimes I drive to them, sometimes they drive to me, but either way it's been incredibly fun and soul filling to live up summer with so many people I love. With that said, I am not a 'sit at a coffee shop and catch up' kind of girl, I need some movement to keep the body active and happy and I can only imagine you are in a similar boat.

Exercising in a social setting has powerful benefits. Being the social beings that we are, being together makes time go by faster, we have naturally high motivation together and we tend to want to keep moving as a pod. It's also been shown that people experience a higher quality of life and tend to stay active afterwards. It feels good to be supported, share joy and lower anxiety. 

And although exercising in a group setting can be tricky, I have figured out some solid ways to keep it fun and the logistics and hurdles to a minimum. Here they are... 


1. Pick an an event (or create one)

Before I go any further, it's important to expand your definition of 'exercise' to 'movement' because more things are possible. Movement means you don't have to be in exercise specific clothes, have to watch the time or go to the gym. It's the art of moving your body throughout the day in small, but consistent ways that keep you away from sitting for long periods of time.

Be the person in a group who schedules where you go. Choose to attend a city event that requires lots of walking, bike riding or standing. Maybe one with healthy food options, sunshine, good views and live music. Never underestimate long days of walking as a fantastic form of movement. If you're out in nature, meet up with friends at a trail head for land adventures or hit the water for some paddling. 

Wherever you go, resist the temptation to sit any chance you get. Be the person who squats to rest, brings a blanket to lay on or (if there's music) dances to get their groove on.

2. Join a class

Whenever you feel a slump in your movement routine, sign up for class. Yep, just a class. Sometimes the answer isn't a new gym membership. Instead of going from 0 to 100, go from 0 to 20. Make your next move sustainable by making it easily repeatable. Sign up for a morning yoga class and say hello to the person closest to you after class. Sign up for a 5k run and convince a friend to join you and wear silly, bright clothing to keep the mood light. Volunteer to pick veggies/fruits at a farm. You can even join a sport team (recreation style) to really give you some structure and fun. It's helpful to join a formal class/event because you get to make less choices. All you have to do is follow directions and show up.

3. Keep it local with a movement buddy

This is one of my favorites. Think about all the ways you like to get in movement. Do you have an accountability buddy you can call on to join you? Invite a loved one or neighbor to join you on your casual walk around the neighborhood. Call a friend to stretch after work (if you work remote) or (if you work away from home) walk with a co-worker around the building at lunch. Who do you go with to your exercise classes? Track your minutes at your standing desk and share with a friend. Meet up at the pool and swim laps together. 


I think you get the point, ya?!

When we move together, we thrive together. 

Special invitation: Considering coming to a FREE workshop I'll be hosting soon, How to Create Consistent and Dependable Healthy Habits where I'll be sharing 3 science-backed techniques to build habits that happen without lots of motivation and time.