Activity vs fitness

These aren’t the only ingredients for fitness but I certainly wish they were.

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.

5 Comments

Filed under BlogLikeCrazy

5 responses to “Activity vs fitness

  1. I completely agree with you regarding the strength of “social media networks to build a network of accountability.” When I started exercising (50+ lbs and 7 years ago), I went to the gym because I had a good friend that motivated me to come. I never thought I would stick to it when I moved away from her but luckily I had been exercising for a year when i moved so I had developed the habit (or addiction) to exercising. I made new friends at the gyms here in Birmingham and there was an unspoken accountability to them. I truly value the power of friendships at gyms and social media makes it so much easier to have the shared experience (or sometimes shared pain) of working out. Thanks for trying us out at Inspire Clair! I hope to see you again soon!

  2. i absolutely believe that social media can be used to help encourage people to get in shape. I’m planning to blog more about my own fitness goals to keep myself accountable.

  3. Erin Shaw Street

    I agree that there’s definitely a connection. I work with Kim and have seen firsthand how she’s inspired women to get active (and gain confidence) through biking. There are so many other kickass-fitness inspired Bham folks too, and a cool crossover between those of us who are active on SM and just plain active! Hope to see you at Inspire … looking forward to trying one of Gabe’s classes soon. Now, onward to the gym. (Was going to forgo it but this post is encouraging me to get off the couch. See, it works!

    • Let me know when you head over to Inspire! I’ve done one spin class and was thinking about trying out one yoga class also. Workout-wise, the same thing happened to me yesterday. I kept putting it off, but read your comment and realized it was time. It really does work!

  4. Kelly

    Clair, I am in full support of your observations about social networking and accountability, and would also like to applaud your goal-setting in particular. The goal you chose is reasonable and achievable, it’s specific, and you’ve even added the intrinsic reward of choosing one “fun” class per week. Then you took it a step further and shared it in a public forum. These are all important aspects of goal-setting that we learned early on when coaching clients – it’s great that you’ve done such a great job coaching yourself. Hope to meet you soon at Inspire – I teach yoga here and we have a relaxed and organic practice (organic meaning we do whatever we feel like when the attendees walk in and there’s no set “yoga agenda”. Flow like water, in other words…) So glad you enjoyed Gabe’s class!

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