Get Fit: Using Your Community for Fitness By Keri Allred

When people think of getting fit, sometimes they assume that they need to go to great expense to do so. They assume this means joining a gym or a boot camp or purchasing an expensive meal plan from a nutritionist or trainer. The truth is that you don’t have to go to great lengths to get fit. Using your community for fitness can prove great value to you, whether it’s physical, financial, or mental.

What Does My Community Have to Offer?
Depending on where you live, it’s likely that you have access to a recreation center, fitness courts, community classes through a community center, or even fitness social media groups. The key is knowing where to look.
If your community has a recreation center, you likely already pay fees, as part of your HOA. If not, you can probably join the recreation center for a small fee each month. The fees are typically less than that of a gym, because of the number of people that already pay in. Recreation centers are great because they offer everything a gym does, but many times more. For example, they may have gym equipment, basketball courts, a kid’s club, indoor and outdoor swimming, tennis courts, and even a daycare or summer camp. 
Often times, these recreation centers have fitness classes, as well as other types of classes, such as parenting, finance, business how-to, gardening, safety, crafting, etc. Check with your recreation center to see how much they charge to join, as well as if they have a schedule of classes and amenities.

Find Nearby Fitness Friends Through Social Media

Check out social media groups. Again, it’s likely that biking enthusiasts meet up regularly to go for long road-biking trips on the weekends. Social media is the perfect way to connect with moms who meet within your community to stay active together. The great thing about these groups is that you
  • get to meet people with similar interests and hobbies, with a common goal.
  • have accountability partners. 
These two factors can be the difference between succeeding or not with your wellness goals.

Host Meal Preparation Parties

Meal prepping is often linked to success with getting healthier. After all, as the experts say, fitness is 70% nutrition. Prepping for your meals keeps you from eating unhealthy meals and items. Ready for a meal pre or post workout? Your prepped meal has the nutritional values you need. Of course, meal prepping may be a smart and cost effective way to get healthier, but it can be tedious to go it alone. Why not make meal prep a community effort? 
If your community is fortunate enough to have a clubhouse with a shared kitchen space, see if you can rent out the area bi-weekly or monthly to meet with other members of your community. You can use this time to meal prep together, sharing tips, recipes, and general guidance. It’s a great way to get closer to the community around you while making an effort to do something for yourself.

Utilize Community Gardens for Fresh Produce

Be on the lookout for community gardens. You may have to pay a small fee for the plot, but this trend is starting to pick up across communities, so that neighbors can share gardening tips and encourage more home-cooked meals around the table at home. It promotes wellness, healthy eating, and healthy family relationships.

Use Your Community’s Assets

Part of local city planning involves a parks and recreation department. Aside from the recreation centers themselves, there are probably some great parks with walking trails, outdoor work-out equipment like chin-up bars and sand pits. Utilize these parks, as your taxes pay for them, and there are probably other moms out there, just like you, trying to get fit.
It’s likely that your community holds all the tickets you need to be successful on your journey to get fit. Research the educational institutions and churches around your community, as well as the various work-out facilities. Look into recreation centers and see if your community has one. Map out parks with walking trails. See if any local mom groups get together to work out with each other, whether that be walking, running, hiking, etc. Consider starting your own group. Look into meeting up with social media interest groups or purchase a plot in a community garden. The sky is the limit and your community is your oyster. Choose to get fit using your community around you.

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