As we welcome another year and are hopeful that we stick to our New Year’s resolutions, we sometimes think, how can this year be different than last?
It’s easier said than done, and we’re all guilty of placing our goals on the back burner. Truth be told, it’s hard to keep our personal promises, especially when life gets in the way and we are constantly faced with temptations.
It’s important to understand that sometimes we need help to achieve our fitness goals, and as the popular saying goes - it takes a village.
It takes time, patience and support. The journey can be challenging, but the accomplishments are what make the process worth it. Seeking help is a step in the right direction and doing so will lead you to a positive path of physical and mental growth.
According to Screening for Mental Health, creating social connections will improve your quality of life, mental health and help you live longer. Since the beginning, humans have thrived on social connections. Living in an isolated world, it’s important to feel socially connected with friends, family and like-minded individuals. These connections bring happiness, motivation and longevity to our lives.
Creating social connections and staying active go hand-in-hand. Taking care of your mental well-being is equally as important as your physical happiness, and surrounding yourself with positive and supportive individuals will help you achieve both of these lifestyle goals.
“People are more successful at sticking with an active routine when they have a supportive and social network backing them in achieving their goals,” said Health and Fitness Manager at the Downtown YMCA, Samantha Blair.
Many of us find it hard to commit to a workout regime, or keep up on our healthy eating habits. According to the YMCA of Okanagan, teaming up with your partner, or connecting with a friend who will hold you accountable is the perfect way to stay on track and build connections along the way.
“Whether it’s a friend, co-worker, spouse or gym buddy you’ve just made, having a partner to motivate you and hold you accountable can be one of the best ways to ensure you accomplish your health goals,” added Blair.
The benefits of a workout buddy are endless. Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding an exercise partner into your life.
It’s fun! You’re going to be more motivated to get to the gym and stick to the fitness plan longer when you have someone else to enjoy the process and results with.
You’re important, too. This person is counting on you to keep them on track just as much as you are counting on them.
You benefit from the social time spent with your workout buddy. Before starting your workout, you can tend to your mind. Between work, family and everyday busyness, most of us don’t have much down time. Releasing some stress with a good workout while sharing a laugh or two is exactly what you need.
Healthy competition will enhance your performance. Working out with someone naturally increases your ability to work harder, as you are subconsciously trying to perform better than them.
You have your very own cheerleader! Your workout buddy will support you and cheer you along the way of your fitness journey, and a little encouragement goes a long way.
A study from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University showed that over a course of a year, couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate. The study also showed that couples who joined health clubs together, regardless of whether they participated in the same classes or fitness routines, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.
At the YMCA of Okanagan, the team of experts provide a welcoming atmosphere for both children, adults and families. Each facility offers a variety of programs and classes that help you achieve a balanced level of fitness while joining a brand new community.
“Group fitness classes are popular because of the sense of connection, accountability and motivation they provide. At the Y we recognize that not everyone has a healthy support system and we strive to foster a sense of community with and between our members,” said Fitness Supervisor at the Kelowna Family Y, Michelle Moffatt.
This sense of community goes beyond the weightroom as you start to recognize faces in the fitness classes and those once strangers become your friends. The intimidation of working out turns to a place of comfort where social connections are made and relationships are built.
“We have seen life long friendships and relationships develop through our classes and programs. Research has proven these are extremely successful at encouraging individuals to consistently work towards their health goals,” added Moffatt.
If you are seeking motivation and support while exercising regularly, the YMCA provides a centre of community for all. Each facility offers a variety of membership benefits, including free health coaching for members. The YMCA is the right choice for anyone who wants to feel connected and build lasting relationships within the community. If you are looking for support in reaching your health goals in 2018, and want to take advantage of their special introductory offer this January, please visit their website or call 250.491.9622.