Fitness is inherently social. From weight rooms to running groups to spin classes, the gym can be a great place to connect with others who share your goals. Like social media, it can be a good place to start conversations that require further face time to complete. I, on the other hand, am active. During office hours I move as much as possible and probably burn hundreds of calories from the stress of mini-commutes between tutoring lessons.
In the world of new media, social media is becoming an integral part the fitness process. The same people who over share about their lives in general usually treat physical activity the same way (“Headed to the gym! LOL #workinonmyfitness”). Others use social media networks to build a network of accountability.
Likewise, gyms and groups have begun using Facebook and Twitter to connect with potential clients. The new Inspire Fitness in Southside is just one of those places. I got invited to try Inspire through Gabe Rios, a librarian at Lister Hill Library and one of the co-owners of the gym. I took one of his Friday Happy Hour spin classes and (miraculously) made it through. After giving up my short-lived attempts at running because of my knees, Gabe’s class gave me a runner’s high for the first time in too long.
Two years ago, I had the pleasure of writing an article on Magic City Cycle Chix, a local women’s cycling group. Kim Cross started this Facebook group in January 2011, this community has grown to almost 600 members in the last two years and has put on some awesome programs. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to attend any of the workshops they've hosted, but I have it on good information that these events were awesome.
Here in Birmingham, local writers have started blogs like The Jen West Quest and Who Ate My Blog? to document their weight loss journeys. Putting this information on the Internet has allowed them to build a supportive community for their goals and publicly document their progress.
At this point, I’m seriously considering adopting a similar system. Over the past two years, I have repeatedly struggled back into something resembling fitness, gotten busy and fallen out of the habit. It’s just easier to reach for my knitting needles instead of the dumbbells after a 13 hour day. For the rest of the year, I am going to lift weight and do cardio at least twice a week. As a change of pace, I’m going to try to do at least one fun class a week, whether it is yoga at the Yoga Circle or Spin at Inspire. Let’s hope that shaking up my routine drags me out of this workout funk.