It's no secret that we find motivation from our peers, and there's proof of this. A recent study showed that participants exercised 160 percent longer when in a group setting than those simply working with one partner, and 200 percent longer than those who were working out alone. Perhaps we embrace the idea of working harder when in a team-like environment because being around people with similar goals and struggles can actually help us stay inspired. A support network among a tribe of peers who understand you and your goals could be the key to results-oriented fitness.
I personally prescribe to the idea that we work best together—particularly women. I am the oldest of five girls, and my sisters have helped shape my perspective on the power of camaraderie among females. In fact, the conception of Kaia FIT was due largely in part to my relationship with strong women in my life—namely my mom and sisters—as key pillars of support in countless ways. Kaia FIT was started, and continues to thrive, based on the notion that as humans (not just women) we operate at our best as a "pack."
Here are five reasons why a fitness community is so important:
1. You get motivation and inspiration.
Having a support system of friends who have similar goals and exercise interests turns workouts into a more social activity. A community-centered environment in which people keep each other accountable and excited to come back for more is crucial to results. Leveraging the support of your community has the potential to produce an overflowing amount of encouragement and incentive to work harder.
2. Your intentions become reality.
When we establish our priorities, we set an intention for our exercise accountability game plan. If you went on a road trip and thought you didn't need a map, you'd be lost. Knowing where you want to go and how to stay on the right path is what will drive you directly to your end destination. Surrounding yourself with people who exude positive energy and share similar goals will help you stick to your path and follow through with your intentions.
Workout accountability gives you added incentive to stay committed to an exercise program. This is elevated when you have a group of people expecting you to show up for a workout. That's the premise behind the Kaia FIT fitness programs: You stick with your group of fellow members and they help hold you accountable. By joining a program of this nature, you will be more likely to stay invested, active, enthusiastic, and consistent than if you were riding solo at the gym. Plus, you'll want to make the time! Always knowing you have someone there waiting for you will allow you to explore new ways to grow as an athlete, friend, and woman. It builds the foundation you need to stay on track and live the life you want!
4. It makes you push harder.
A female-only study found that women who exercise with friends burn around 236 calories, compared to the 195 calories burned during a solo session. It's like the enthusiasm from others in a class is almost infectious—or the motivation from the person on the treadmill next to you just rubs off!
5. It works both ways.
A fitness community essentially creates a way for you to feel supported and a way for you to exercise your support for others, which is highly effective in feeling connected and reciprocating encouragement.
6. It produces "non-scale" victories.
Community helps you set and achieve "non-scale" victories when embarking on your fitness and/or weight-loss journey. When you know your "team" or community is relying on you to show up and do your best, you are likely to achieve a feeling of accomplishment when you contribute to a group goal. This kind of mentality is effective in helping you focus your attention away from the scale. Being a part of a community promotes chatter about multiple topics, not just fitness.
Why tackle a challenge alone, when you can make friends who get it and want you to hit goals as much as you do? Being presented with the opportunity to build and be a part of a community focused on fitness empowers you to truly connect with people on an intimate level. Finding community support will not only get you through a challenging workout but will help you through life's challenges as well.