Most of us at some point or another have wanted to improve our social lives, whether it’s getting out of the house more, getting to know some new people or spending more time with the people that matter most to us. Getting started with improving your social life can be the hardest step, especially when you want to expand your friend circle and get to know someone new.
Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to make friends is through shared interests and as fitness is a key part of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle, it’s something that plenty of people from all walks of life are involved in or have an interest in. Fitness and sports are considered excellent examples of indoor or outdoor team building activities, encouraging people to work together and communicate effectively meaning it’s a great and fun way to meet new people.
As well as looking after your physical health, fitness does wonders for your mental health, too. The same can be said for socialising with others, helping you to form a support group with others that you can connect with and lean on in times of need. Whether you are looking to improve your physical or mental health, working out with others is certainly a massive plus.
Finding Social Groups
Community meetups and shared interest socials are common and without looking around, you may not even realise they are taking place in your local area. Put together a list of fitness interests you have, i.e. do you prefer to run or have a set regime that you follow every week, then take a look at your local online listings for others that have posted about having similar interests. You can also check local newspaper listings and the noticeboard at your local activity centre or gym. Equally, the rise of social media has also made it easier than ever to find like-minded locals with whom you can either join and/or form a group.
Alternatively, there might be groups already available that are dedicated to your preference, running social groups are very popular and often meet several times during the week. There are usually groups aimed at different capability levels, allowing you to join a group that moves at a faster pace than one aimed at beginners for example.
If you regularly attend a gym there may be an opportunity to find a ‘gym buddy’, a partner who works out alongside you, helps to keep motivated and provides a sounding board for new ideas or fitness moans, in return for you doing the same for them. Not only is it nice to have someone to motivate you to do better and go further when you are working out but not everyone attends the gym on the same days and this is an easy way to make a handful of new friends on your fitness journey.
Add an extra level of (safe) challenge and gamify your workouts with a friend, setting goals and trying to beat them together or trying to beat each other in calories burned, distance travelled or number of reps. Competition, for many, is the missing ingredient for a fantastic workout which pushes you further than you would otherwise be willing to go when working out solo. Having bragging rights over a friendly rival makes the feeling of tired muscles more than worth it.
Try Something New
To find new interests and hobbies, we first need to try stuff out. Make a list of activities or pastimes that you would like to try and find social groups for beginners that provide you access to a new sport or activity. This is a great way of building new relationships while also stepping out of your comfort zone and potentially finding a new interest that you want to go back to. Rock-climbing is a good example as it often requires two people working together to safely enjoy the sport using belays and climbing ropes and rock climbing groups will frequently travel across the country finding new climbing sites and exploring the countryside.
If you prefer something a little more relaxed, then why not consider installing an artificial putting green where you can enjoy a quick game and a drink in the sunshine? Golf has long been known to be one of the most social sports around but can be quite expensive to play when you take into consideration the cost of equipment and club memberships.
Exercise is proven to be good for the mind and great for the body, but the additional benefits include rewards to our social life. Avoid shying away from opportunities. Seek out new and exciting activities and make the effort to join a local social group or two to meet like-minded and interesting individuals with similar interests to yourself who will soon be able to call a friend.