The Power of Connections

Last week, when I was making my all-too-often Starbucks run, I ran in to a long-time friend. It had been an embarrassingly long time since we had last gotten together. As we waited for our drinks, we quickly tried to catch up on all our news, leaving Starbucks with promises to get dates on the calendar to get together for lunch or dinner over the summer. Reality check: both of us have a lot of children, both of us work, and both of us have busy schedules, so escaping for regular outings is unlikely at best. And I am guessing all of us have friends like this: people we would like to spend more time with, even just “hanging out”, but HOW???

Instead of the proverbial lunch/dinner/coffee dates, have you ever thought about meeting a friend for a workout date???? Recent studies have shown that people who are trying to make a fitness change in their lives such as increasing exercise, improving nutrition, or stopping smoking, have a 50% greater rate of success when they make that change with a friend or loved one as opposed to trying to do it alone. The power of the connection to the other person is strong enough to bolster one’s own commitment to self.

How many times have we made plans with someone and then life gets busy and we say “I wish I could cancel because I have so much to do, but I can’t cancel on her/him….” and we go to our date and actually are glad we went, renewed by the personal interaction with a friend? Think about how this translates to your fitness life. How many times have you “cancelled” on yourself and your workout because something else had to be done? Think about if you had made a date with a friend to WORK OUT. You both then answer to each other, keep your commitment to yourselves to exercise, and as a bonus, get the energy bump from spending time together!

This happens even (or especially?) with spouses. This spring there were some weeks where my husband and I were pulled in so many different directions with our children that we became like ships passing in the night. Unable to squeeze in dinner dates (gotta love those evening soccer games and weekend dance competitions…), we resorted to exercising together on his lunch hour. It was restorative to just be able to BE together, and we both felt good that we had gotten our workouts in as well.

Getting in to exercise is of course the first step. Once you begin, working out with someone, laughing or commiserating with them, makes time go by so much faster. Often we do more than we would alone because we have the support of our friend. Someone telling us “You can do it!” or maybe just you telling yourself “If she can do it, so can I…” are powerful psychological tools in motivating us to work hard and not to slack off or quit. Waiting in the long line at Starbucks seemed like no time at all because I was chatting with my friend, but put me there alone on another day and I might have been a little grumpier as I waited for all the kids to get their Frappuccinos…or I may have taken a look at the line and left altogether!

So as summer begins, why not grab a friend (or two or three) and make regular workout dates? You’ll be seeing each other often, renewing both body and spirit, and keeping yourself committed to your fitness plan. This is especially a great idea for those college kids home for the summer who are trying to reconnect with hometown friends…they can work on undoing the Freshman 15 or simply stay in shape while they “hang out” with friends in a more constructive fashion than simply sitting on a couch watching a movie..

But what kind of exercise to do? Not everyone is a runner. Not everyone cycles. Simply walking doesn’t provide any strength training…We have the answer! LYFT has FIT classes that cater to ALL fitness levels, promising an intense and effective cardio and strength workout. Classes are small, with personalized attention, lots of interaction, and something new for everyone. Commit to a morning hour long class or if you can only squeeze in a 30 minute class, come at lunchtime for QuickFit 30. And at LYFT, JUNE IS BRING A FRIEND TO FIT FOR FREE MONTH. That’s right: Every person who pays gets to bring a friend for free to all FIT classes for the entire month of June. There’s FOUR WEEKS for you to rekindle friendships and get in incredible shape! (One free friend per person please…two people pay? Two go free…make it a group event!)

LYFT is the perfect place for working out with friends. We are not a large club. We are not a one-size-fits-all chain. What makes us so different is the COMMUNITY we have built, a place where you feel that support and experience the energy of friendships, even if they are “workout friends” and not “outside the gym” friends. Our community is strong, welcoming to new people, happy to share this gem. We don’t see masses of people come and go, buzzing in and buzzing out. We are the friend with whom you keep your fitness date, the friend who supports you to achieve your goals, the friend who cheers you on and challenges you in class, the friend who always has a new idea to share, and the friend who celebrates with you when it is all over! June is the perfect month to begin something new: as you set your new summer schedule, grab a friend and commit to FIT classes (you could come three times a week—think how much fun you could have together!). You will see how much good they’ll do for your body…and your spirit! And compared to a few minutes in Starbucks, see how they will renew a friendship!

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