Get plugged into your local fitness community.
Working out alongside other people promotes accountability and can help you stick with your fitness routine when you might otherwise get discouraged. Community-based fitness works — and it’s more fun than working out alone. Get to know people in your city who enjoy the types of activity you do, make friends, and enjoy working toward your goals together! Here’s how to get started.
- Join some Meetup groups.
Ever heard of Meetup? It’s a directory of local communities in every category you can imagine, from entrepreneurship to book circles and board game groups. Use the free app or website to search for biking, running, hiking, and other fitness groups in your city. Whatever your workout of choice, there’s probably a Meetup group near you built around it!
- Find an accountability partner you trust.
When you start to get tired, an accountability partner will keep you honest. When you feel tempted to skip a workout, your accountability partner can encourage you — and you can do the same for him or her. Whether it’s guilt or a sense of competition that motivates you, you’ll be more likely to stick with a routine if flaking means standing someone else up. Having trouble finding a friend or family member who’s willing to step in? Use a service like WellSquad to find your accountability partner.
- Watch for community events.
Check your town’s event calendar and keep an eye out for advertisements — your city may offer free or low-cost clinics, classes, and more! (Eventbrite is also a good resource for this.) In the past year, my city has offered yoga and Zumba classes, Saturday boot camps, and athletic conditioning sessions. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, check in surrounding cities, too.
Our favorite fitness resources
Gym memberships and personal trainers offer a host of benefits you won’t get when working out alone. But if you’re looking to mix up your fitness routine at home, there’s a huge variety of free and almost-free resources online.
Looking for an online fitness community with a stellar app? Check out Strava. It’s part social network, part fitness tracking, and completely awesome. Strava is compatible with just about any fitness device you can think of. Use it to track your workouts, measure performance across metrics like heart rate and mile breakdown, and join groups. Strava can help you find new running and biking routes by highlighting popular routes nearby. It can even help keep you safe when exercising alone; its popular Beacon feature (available with Premium) allows you to share your location in real time. Download for: iOS | Android
If your goals include weight loss, look into SparkPeople. It’s an online community, calorie counter, and personalized fitness program all in one — essentially the Swiss Army Knife of fitness tools. You can use it to explore healthy recipes, keep a food journal, or research diet tips from nutritionists. Joining is free, as is downloading the mobile app. Download for: iOS | Android