Support is a powerful motivational tool
Forming a workout group may just provide the motivation you need to finally make a fitness plan that works. Ready for success? Support can boost your chances. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Sure, the phrase sounds hokey, but there is a reason so many people repeat it. It’s true. Team work generates an energy and synergy that propels each member forward in a way that is less likely to happen when working alone. Working together provides a lot of something extra like:
- Friendly competition – it is easier to turn in a lackluster performance when no one is watching. Maybe you hit the gym or track just to cross the workout off your list and perform only at a four on a scale of 10. Studies have shown that we work harder and longer when our buddies are around. Friendly competition moves you closer to your personal best, so you build more stamina, strength and endurance. Bottom line – competition can help you add fitness gains faster.
- Accountability – most people are more likely to break promises to themselves than to others. That means you’ll show up to workout, even when the couch is calling, because you won’t want to let the team down.
- Forced scheduling – when you work out as a team, work outs are less likely to be random or sporadic. Team fitness forces you to review your calendar and commit to work out times.
- Support and encouragement – team members can remind you of your fitness goals and help you stay on track. Let’s face it – going it alone can feel lonely and isolating. An “I belong” and “we are in this together” attitude can make it feel easier to take a walk after dinner, skip the extra chips or talk yourself back on the fitness wagon.
How you assemble your team matters. For example:
- Consider including…
- Someone who shares and understands your fitness goals.
- A mix of people near your fitness level and some a bit above so you are encouraged to stretch.
- Someone with a can-do attitude and/or penchant for planning.
- Someone you share meals with.
- Someone who can encourage you in a way that is meaningful for you.
Build in rewards
Plan to share, celebrate and revise fitness goals and plans about once monthly. Remember that goals should be specific. For example, how often do you intend to exercise? How much weight are you working to lose and within what timeframe? Share strategies for navigating any obstacles or challenges. Team support is key for team success.