Start An Exercise Group With These 6 Simple Tips

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By Natalie Martin

Did you know statistics suggest that you are more likely to stick with an exercise program if you’re in a group?

It’s also easier to start exercising when you are not alone.

While you’re not alone at the gym, it is not always convenient and memberships can be expensive.

Neighborhood exercise groups are a terrific way to start “getting in shape”, and best of all there aren’t any fees. If there isn’t one nearby, don’t worry, here are a few pointers on starting an exercise group in your neighborhood.


How to Start an Exercise Group

Before you start knocking on neighbors’ doors, there are 3 things you need to consider. Otherwise, your exercise group is probably doomed to fail.

  1. What type of exercise group are you starting?
  2. How long and often will the group meet?
  3. Have you considered safety?

There are no rules on what type of exercise group you start, but it should be something that you will want to stick with. Some of the common ones include, cycling, walking and even neighborhood yoga groups.

You will want to have a set schedule on when the group meets. Will it be at the same time every day or only a couple times a week? Don’t forget to think about how long the workout session will last.

Safety is crucial, no matter the type of exercise group. If you are meeting in the morning or evening, will reflective gear be necessary? Are there sidewalks or dedicated bike lanes? Should you have a list of emergency contacts in case there is an accident?


6 Tips to Start and Maintain an Exercise Group

Once you have ironed out the details, it’s time to start promoting your new exercise group. After all, if you don’t tell anyone it will be difficult to recruit members.

  • Post fliers around the neighborhood. Advertising at community centers, local grocery stores, libraries and places of worship will help get the word out and recruit like-minded exercise partners.
  • Finding a local organization to help you start and even support your workout group can be helpful if you are new to the neighborhood or live in a rural location.
  • Schedule a “start-up” meeting at a nearby park. If there isn’t one close-by, get everyone together at a local coffee shop. You can use this time to pick a starting date, and exchange important emergency contact information.
  • Setting group goals, and encouraging members to set individual ones for themselves will help keep the exercise group going, after the “newness” has worn off.
  • Always try to start the group on time. Consistency is key to maintaining an exercise group.
  • When an individual or team goal is meet, Celebrate!

Many of these tips can also be used to help you start an exercise group at work.


Motivation is Key

Keeping everyone motivated can be difficult, but it’s key for the success of the group. Here are a few ideas on how you can keep members active participants in the group.

  • Give your exercise group a fun and catchy name.
  • Have matching hats or t-shirts made.
  • Set goals, both individual and for the group.
  • Keep track of everyone’s progress.
  • Celebrate when a goal is met, no matter the size.
  • Have “down time” together after the workout.
  • Start an online newsletter recounting the group’s progress. This is also an excellent way to keep members informed of any changes that may occur.

Accountability is also important for the success of an exercise group. It’s difficult to stay motivated if no one is held accountable to each other. Give little rewards for attendance, and remember to show recognition whenever a goal is met.

Don’t forget to adjust the goals to keep up with the groups’ evolving level of fitness. If there is nothing to work for, motivation will quickly fall.


Benefits of an Exercise Group

There are several benefits to starting an exercise group, even if it is just you and one or two friends.

  • You are more likely to stay on track, and stick with an exercise plan.
  • Provide plenty of encouragement and motivation.
  • Build friendships.
  • Held accountable for your progress.
  • Can make exercising fun.

When you are working out with others, you are more likely to push yourself. This can help you get past plateaus and improve your overall health. research is starting to show that exercising might even be able to improve your mood. While it’s not true for everyone, the chemicals released by the brain when you work out can give you feelings of happiness.


Start Exercising with Others Today

You might prefer working out solo, and there is nothing wrong with this. If you are motivated and getting the results that you want, there is no reason for you to feel pressured to join an exercise group. The goal of exercising with others is to provide encouragement, motivation and make working out fun.

However, if you want the companionship and need some help staying motivated enough to meet your fitness goals starting an exercise group might be just what you need. Just decide on the type, promote it, and soon you will have your own neighborhood exercise group to help you get in shape.



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