Being part of a ‘community’ has always been central to the human experience. The essence of ‘community’ is to bring like-minded people together who share similar core values and actively work towards individual and collective goals. Communities have thrived since time immemorial, ranging from religious communities and social groups to cause-driven CSR groups. It is from these very communities that a more significant cause or a vision/mission is identified, and that has, in many situations, changed the course of the way our societies think.
Communities enable connections and effectively communicate thoughts and experiences in a physical or a virtual environment. Today, with technology penetrating our daily lives far more than ever, virtual communities are playing a pivotal role in keeping us connected to beliefs and ideas that we closely associate with or want to be associated with, which in turn can bring a positive change in our lives as well as others.
One such virtual community that is thriving is the ‘fitness community. Virtual fitness communities are synonymous with offering a holistic fitness solution, which has contributed significantly to the boom of the online fitness movement. Some of the diverse aspects in which a virtual fitness community can help in an individual’s fitness journey are:
A judgement-free space to get fit
You’ve put on weight; you look chubby. You look fat. Is that a double chin? Many people have come face to face with issues about their weight or fat. Sometimes, we are our worst critics and pull ourselves down with these demotivating thoughts. For example, 41.3 per cent of Indian adults are not doing the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended level of physical activity (PA).
Additionally, India ranks second after China in the global diabetic epidemic, with 77 million people suffering from diabetes. In fact, as per the Non-Communicable Diseases in India report, hypertension, digestive diseases, and diabetes are among India’s top three most prevalent health problems.
All these issues can be addressed if people follow a fitness regime. And here, community-based virtual fitness can work by providing a platform where these issues can be heard, and a proper course of action can be charted to mitigate the risks of these diseases by putting people on the right track for getting fit without any judgment of being fat, overweight, with diabetes or hypertension. For many, the gym can be pretty intimidating, and creating a sense of community brings comfortability and ease so that everyone can focus on their fitness without being bothered by external factors.
Constant guidance and knowledge sharing
Community-based fitness is an excellent way of meeting members and trainers who support and inspire one another by sharing goals, advice, struggles, and accomplishments to improve their nutrition, fitness, and overall health. It is already a great place where qualified fitness coaches and nutritionists can share knowledgeable information about workout or diet plans, which can significantly help people work on their fitness. It is also a platform where people can ask questions about various fitness-related issues and get quick answers without delay. The beauty of an online fitness community is that everyone can work out in the comfort of their homes and get expert guidance with a click of a button.
Finding the willpower to start a new workout routine is tough. The biggest problem is a lack of motivation. As soon as one is part of a fitness community of like-minded people who share a common goal of getting in shape and being fit, the mindset takes a complete U-turn and is motivated with positive energy to get going and exercise. One can identify with others in the community who are further along in their journeys and use them as benchmarks for motivation. It is the ‘human touch- whether it’s checking up on someone’s progress or a fitness roadblock that someone’s facing when there is an individual or an expert on the other side helping every step of the way, it makes a huge difference in one’s fitness journey.
When starting a fitness journey, there is a constant dilemma regarding which workout regime to follow and what diet plan to adopt. Then there is also the confusion of which exercise is to be done, which muscle group is to be focussed on a given day, which equipment to use and what is the correct form to be in a while performing a particular workout. This is where expert guidance comes in. A fitness community – especially a virtual one- has the advantage of quickly accessing certified coaches and nutritionists who can guide an individual on the proper workout, posture and regime and provide expert knowledge on nutrition and diet plans.
Being part of a fitness community offers immense support and motivation for individuals to move in the right direction of their fitness journey. It empowers them and brings that positive change of leading a healthy life and making a difference in other members’ lives by proving to be an example. It further stimulates growth by sharing knowledge on various fitness and nutrition aspects. Finally, and most importantly, it creates a non-judgemental environment which serves as a positive re-enforcement for everyone who is looking for that extra motivation to kickstart their fitness journey.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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