Finding fitness groups or opportunities in your area:
Having problems finding fitness groups in your area? A friend of mine and I were talking today and he brought up an excellent point. He’s out of shape and is trying to be healthier. He said he wants to work out but he hates gyms. It’s icy outside so he doesn’t want to try running and risk slipping and falling. Also, most of the teams or classes available are either for kids or are more advanced than he feels comfortable with. As he put it, I am comfortable with judo and badminton, but neither of these are offered around here. I thought about going to a pickup basketball game at our church but realized I don’t even know how to dribble a ball. I’d feel stupid showing up to something like that.
This got me thinking, and I had to agree, sometimes it is really hard to find workout options that work. For this reason I wanted to go over a few resources that are available to most people in urban or suburban areas (at least in the US) that cater to adults.
If you have a sport you’re interested in and have some experience with, chances are there are others with similar interests in your area. My friend and I looked online for judo clubs and three popped up in the area. Clubs are usually started by adults who aren’t professional athletes, but enjoy a sport and want to keep doing it. So, if you wish you could get back into judo, or basketball, or running, or whatever, but you don’t want to do it alone, try searching for clubs in the area.
Well, what if you want to try a sport but don’t have any experience in it? Most clubs are made up of people who have some experience in the sport, so joining in can be daunting or even impossible if they’re playing at a high enough level. Rec centers are found throughout the US as well as other countries and most have classes available for a reasonable price. These usually have beginner and adult classes for those who want to learn a skill but have absolutely no experience
Similar to rec centers, some colleges and universities offer community classes for anyone to join. These are usually much cheaper than regular college courses and are a nice way to learn a new skill.
Gyms also have a number of classes available for members. This is convenient for people who want to do traditional workouts as well as classes. These classes generally include spin classes, Zumba, yoga, and aerobic classes. However, be careful in picking a gym since many of them require a year’s membership. Also, often the classes cost extra on top of the membership fee. When you find a place you like with classes, double check before signing that contract. Make sure the classes are what you want, when you want them. They won’t do you any good if you’re at work while they’re going on.
While these are usually the best places to look, there are other options as well. Local church groups, retirement homes, communities, senior centers, or other organizations may host sports or fitness classes.
There’s also a number of websites devoted to the search. Try these to find the group or social circle that you are looking for.
Here are a few sites built just to help people like you to connect with other like minded athletes:
- Meetup is a social networking sort of site that helps connect you with activities and clubs in the local area. This includes sports clubs and may help in finding fitness groups.
- Active is specific to sports, outdoor activities and, well, staying active.
- Succeedsocially is more of an all around social event site which gives some good general suggestions and pointers on finding groups or other people in your area with similar interests.
There may be other ways to meet up with like minded people who want to get fit and stay active. If these suggestions don’t work then try other options as you find them. I hope these help.