Groups Get it Done

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Ok, ok. I hated group anything in college. Maybe because I always ended up doing most of the work the night before the big project/presentation/anything.

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A little time at the happiest place on earth didn’t hurt!

Last week my family visited Los Angeles to tour a couple of colleges my brother applied to, and I took a few days off from work to enjoy with them. We did Hollywood, some hiking, Disneyland, the zoo – it was amazing.

When I got back to work, though, my co-worker and boss immediately sat me down to tell me about their newest idea. We were going to host an exercise challenge for the month of March. The goal was to get people out of their fitness ruts and physically challenge them at least three times a week.

A group challenge? I was, of course, skeptical at first. Was it going to be a competition? How would we know if people were really exercising?

They nixed the competition idea. Instead, anyone who completed it throughout the entirety of March would win a fitness tracker, courtesy of the company (which I’m still reeling from. Sometimes, I love my job). As for knowing whether people were actually participating… well, we decided to put faith in the participants. The only person who would lose would be them.

Here are the official guidelines we sent out:

  • Participants must complete three 30 minute exercise sessions per week throughout March
  • The sessions must be separate; doing one workout for 1.5 hours won’t count as the week’s total
  • Workouts do not have to be completed at a gym. Activities like hiking and running outdoors count and are encouraged!
  • Participants must track weekly progress on the progress board

We decided to call it ‘Move Your A$$ March’, as our alternative to March Madness. By this

Our progress board

Our progress board

week, we’ve had 16 people sign up. Personally, I’m so excited to have so many new fitness buddies. Research has shown that having reliable partners in fitness increases your chances of sticking with it. Psychologically, if you feel like you have a responsibility to another person (or in this case, 15 other people), you’ll follow through on your commitments [source].

Here are a few tips for being a good fitness buddy:

  • Be in touch. Send reminder texts and emails encouraging your fellow fitness trainee(s). I like to work out in the mornings, while my co-worker likes to work out at night. Every day after work, we talk about our training goals, and I’ll send her inspirational pictures and quotes.
  • Push your partner, then praise their efforts. We used to complain about working out. Now, we instead encourage each other not to skip our workouts, but to follow through with them.
  • Be reliable. Always follow through with what you say you’ll do. This includes sending timely encouragement, providing a wake up call, meeting up with your buddy at the gym, doing your own separate workout, etc.

I hope this inspires you to grab a friend and get moving!

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