Make Exercise Social – Fitness Make -Over
Peter J. Weiss, MD FACP – More Health Less Care –
Sometimes my wife works out at the same time as I do, but we don’t talk while we’re sweating. She’s does her thing and I do mine. Maybe you’re different. Maybe for you exercise is easier and more enjoyable if it’s more than just exercise, if you make it an event with friends.
So how do you do that? Traditional team sports, such as basketball or soccer, are one way, but coordinating that many participants and securing playing areas are not easy. And, most adults would have difficulty adjusting their schedules to play regularly.
Running in pairs or small groups is an excellent choice. You don’t need much equipment or a special area, and it can be arranged on short notice. Walking might be even better, because you can walk and talk at the same time. Shared conversation really makes it more social and less “work.” Have you considered forming or joining a running or walking group? Think about it.
How about more unusual ways to make exercise social? I recently ran across two women with interesting stories to tell about their workout regimens.
One works out with her sister on a regularly scheduled basis. The interesting part is that her sister lives in another town. This is how it works. They each purchased a Wii Fit and cordless telephone headsets. They program the workout, call each other and begin the conversation – and the exercise. They get a workout in and develop a closer relationship at the same time.
The other works in an office building. She gave up running because of joint discomfort and started swimming. She wanted to swim weekdays on a long lunch break at a pool near her office. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to dry her hair and redo her makeup before she was expected back at work for the afternoon. Then she hit on the idea taking it easy and using a pool “noodle” under her arms to keep her head out of the water. This solved the hair and makeup issue, and she found a friend to match her pace and they talk for the entire swim session. They both love it.
These are great ideas! I’m very impressed with how these two figured out good plans for themselves and made it fun. I’m sure there are more people out there with unique ways to make exercise a social event. What have you heard of that we should know about? What ideas do you have?
Many local malls have stroller fitness classes as well as those held outside at parks. They are usually reasonalby priced and those who particpate report increase motivation to follow through due to it being a group activity.
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