We all recognise the importance of staying fit and healthy. Many people engage personal trainers to help them to do this – ESPECIALLY if they have a specific goal to aim for: running a half-marathon, completing a triathlon, losing a certain amount of weight. Working one-to-one with someone helps to keep you motivated, makes you accountable, provides a personalised programme to help you get to your goals and gives support and challenge as needed.
For the same reason, people work with personal development, lifestyle or business coaches – they want to achieve something specific and using a coach is one of the most tried and tested routes to success.
But lots of people take their fitness/health seriously and don’t use a personal trainer.
Over the last 2 years in particular, people who never used to walk or cycle were suddenly committed to doing it every day. I logged into my Zoom Zumba class twice a week and continued to work out in my kitchen or on the patio.
Yet it’s common to see runners and cyclists out in groups: Running and cycling is a solo activity yet people choose to do it together. People join gyms to work out alone but with others. Indeed, I headed back to my Zumba class as soon as I could even though (on the surface) I wouldn’t be getting any additional benefits by re-joining a live class.
So why do it?
- Well, there’s the social aspect of course. Even though social interaction is limited if you’re running, cycling or doing Zumba, there is SOME.
- There’s accountability. If you don’t show up, people will ask where you were!
- It aids commitment. When there’s a set time to do something, you’re less likely to put it off because if you don’t do it then, you miss out.
- There’s the motivation to keep up with those around you. It’s far easier to quit if you’re on your own, but exercising with others encourages you to dig a little deeper and be the best you can be.
- It stops you from developing bad habits – peers make sure that you’re working safely and doing things right.
- It develops you but at YOUR pace. You see what your peers are doing and you set goals in relation to them. The whole group builds each other up as everyone slowly improves.
- It keeps you fresh – you go on different routes/learn new routines which stops exercise becoming boring.
And although designing training is essentially a solo activity, it’s far easier and much more enjoyable when you do it with others, as part of a learning community.
Having a coach can help you to develop your skills OR create something more quickly.
AND just working alongside others in a supportive and collaborative community has loads of benefits too: just the same as being part of a running club or joining a Zumba class. You learn so much without knowing that's what's you're doing. You continuously develop without ever planning to to do so. Members of the group absorb good practice from each other almost like osmosis.