Finding Your Tribe
No one is an island and that is particularly true when it comes to exercising. Some people are able to self-start and motivate themselves, and that’s great. However, some of us are the opposite and need people to help motivate us and tell us to get up off the floor because that was just the warm up. It can be incredibly useful to connect with people who share your health and fitness goals. Everyone’s journey is different, but having others by your side can help you push through the times when you want to give up because your muscles are sore or you’re craving soda. Instead of giving into temptation, grab a can of Burn and try these tips to create your tribe:
- Go to a class with a friend. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “some of the benefits [of group exercise] include exposure to a social and fun environment, a safe and effectively designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, [and] an accountability factor for participating in exercise.” Attending a class is also a great idea if you’re new to a particular exercise, because an instructor can keep an eye on your form and ensure you’re doing the moves correctly to avoid an injury. Plus, you can meet other class participants and bring them into your fitness tribe!
- Go online. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a local tribe, especially when everyone is so busy. Or perhaps you want to try a dance workout, but your friends prefer to run or lift weights and you don’t want to take a class alone—that’s okay! The internet can be a terrifying black hole, but it’s also home to a wealth of information and people like you. Consider searching around on Facebook for groups of people who share your fitness goals. You could even start a group of your own with friends who live far away. Just because they’re not with you in person doesn’t mean that can’t be a part of your tribe! Create a group and post daily about your workouts. This can be a safe space for you to talk about how hard/awesome your workout was on a particular day, how you rocked or slipped up on your meal plan, or even to post sweaty selfies as proof of your workout!
- Make your goals public. It’s so much easier to slack off on our health and fitness goals if you’re the only one who knows about them. If no one knows you’re supposed to go for a run, then no one will care if you stay home and eat cheesy poofs on your couch instead. But if other people are expecting you to follow through on a plan, it holds you accountable and can help motivate you to stick to your word. Tell a family member or a friend who you know will call you out if you slack off, and who knows—maybe working towards your health and fitness goals will motivate your accountability buddy to become your workout buddy!
Finding your tribe isn’t just fun, there are proven benefits. One study found that 95% of people who started a weight loss group with friends completed the program, as opposed to the 76% who tackled their goals on their own. Plus, 66% of the friend group in the study maintained their weight loss as opposed to only 24% of the solo exercisers. Your health and fitness goals are your own, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Find your tribe to help keep you accountable as you work through the Live Well Challenge!
 Dolan, Ph.D., R.D., CSSD, Shawn. “Benefits of Group Exercise.” American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM, 7 Oct. 2016, www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/benefits-of-group-exercise.
 Wing, R R, and R W Jeffery. “Benefits of Recruiting Participants with Friends and Increasing Social Support for Weight Loss and Maintenance.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 1999, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10028217.