The power of people

Jan 18, 2023

Want to get moving but lack motivation? We asked local community physical activity coordinator, Ed, for his advice on how to take on the new year with newfound energy. His answer? Go together.

“If you want to get into the habit of being active, my biggest tip is to tag along with someone else or bring someone with you. Make it social! When we move with others, we have more fun and who doesn’t want that?”

He’s not wrong. And sometimes a little (healthy) peer pressure helps too. Because when you’ve committed to doing something with others, you’re more likely to show up.

OK, so the novelty of something new can be enough to help us get started. But what about carrying on?

“Sharing your progress can help you through those sticky moments, and hearing other’s stories can help you unload your stresses, and hearing other’s stories can give you a new perspective on things.”

A little friendly competition can be healthy too. “If you see people in your group achieving something, you might think ‘If they can, maybe I can?’. And in the same way, you could be helping motivate someone else too.”

Okay, we’re sold (thanks Ed). So what are some workouts that can be done in pairs or small groups?

Walking

Walking is surely the very best and easiest way to start moving. Start with ten minutes a day and you can soon build it up. But it can seem a little monotonous when you go alone, and that’s when the company of somebody else could really make a difference. Get in touch with your nearest community physical activity organiser if you’d like to start walking, and don’t know where to begin. There are some great routes available on Exeter’s Green Circle network of paths – take a look here to find some of them.

Playing

As adults we often forget to play. And if you’ve got any children in your life, they’ll love nothing more than to see you get involved in whatever it is that they’re doing. Whether it’s football, role play, den building, or hanging out on the climbing frame, this is an awesome way to get moving and you’ll make somebody’s else’s day in the process.

Running

If you’re not used to moving much at all, the prospect of going for a run might seem a bit ridiculous. But there is so much support in Exeter and even if you’ve never run a step in your life, with the help of others, you could soon be flying around your first 5k. Exeter has lots of friendly ‘Couch to 5k’ running groups that could be perfect for you if you’re an absolute beginner.  Other supportive running groups include Greenbow Running Club to Women on the Run and mental health peer support group Run Talk Run.

The Exeter Community City Trust also hosts lots of  running events throughout the year for you to get involved in.

Exercise classes

Exeter has its own FreeMoovement group, inclusive to everyone who wants to workout with the support of others. Across the week, volunteers host the sessions at parks for free across Exeter. And you don’t have to be super fit to join. Each class is inclusive, friendly, and people are encouraged to workout within their limits.

So how about it? Why not rally a friend or join a club and see how much progress you make with your fitness. Get in touch with the community physical activity organiser in your area and they’ll soon help you on your journey to feeling great in 2023!