If you’re part of Generation X, you didn’t grow up with social media. There was no text messaging or email. Instead, for most of us, we communicated on the telephone and we hung out together. That’s how we grew up. We played with the other kids within walking, or biking, distance. When we could drive, we hit the road and explored…together. We’re social in a way that is much different from generations that are growing up with technology as a means of connection.
We need some face to face. We need a social connection that involves conversations with facial expressions, laughter, camaraderie and all that goes along with it. We need this because this is how we grew up and it’s how we connect to one another and to the world. Unfortunately, as the world becomes more technology driven, it gets harder to find these types of social connections and outlets. It’s one of the reasons why community based fitness programs are not only growing in popularity among Generation X, it’s why they work so well for us.
Community Based Exercise – What Does It Mean and How Do You Get It?
If you hit the treadmill in a big box gym, you’re not going to get a social connection. It’s likely a reason gym attendance is down among Gen X. However, what is growing in popularity are a number of community based fitness programs. They range in size, cost, and activity. Some are free and others can cost a few hundred dollars a month. Let’s explore some of your options.
Clubs – Love to run? You probably have a choice of a dozen or more running clubs in your community. They’re free or may have a small membership fee. They may specialize in a type of running, for example trail running, or they may focus on a training method or demographic. For example, there are women only running clubs or running clubs for folks over 50. There are also clubs for just about any sport or activity you can think of. You can also create your own club or gather a group of friends to exercise together.
Small Group Classes – These types of programs are popping up everywhere. They often specialize in a type of fitness. For example, spinning classes, kickboxing, Zumba, and CrossFit are just a few of the many options. Yoga and Pilates classes are also small group programs to consider. You may also be able to find outdoor boot camps in your community.
Online Connection – For those that don’t have small group club or class options in their community or if it just doesn’t fit into your schedule, there are strong online communities. MyFitnessPal is one of the largest. It’s a social network for people who are trying to get and stay in shape.
It’s not enough for most Gen Xers to put in their time on the treadmill. They want it to be enjoyable and that often means that it’s social. Exercise is a great way to connect with others while working to improve your health and your well-being. Look at what’s available in your community and try some things out. You may be surprised what you find. Next time we’ll explore how to leverage technology to support your health and fitness goals.