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The power of a fitness community

Alex shares her insights from moving to Denmark and unveils the transformative power of fitness communities.

Photographs: Pexels

Text: Alexandra Beck

When I first moved to Copenhagen, and after handling the ever-so-long amount of red tape to get settled into an apartment, opening a bank account and finding a job, in whichever order it was required, the last thing on my mind was how difficult it may be to actually integrate: find a hobby, sport, and make friends. Everyone I had met so far in the process, even though very helpful, seemed like they were after me for not "knowing" what to do with the administrative spaghetti yeti.

After finally figuring out enough of it to live decently and feeling proud having done it, it was time to beat the loneliness and get some form of routine into my fitness habits.

I joined the gym. FitnessDK, as it was called back then. I registered with all the classes on schedule (except for dancing) and attended them all, filled with hope and expectations of being more fit and healthy and making new like-minded friends. After a good eight months, I started to only attend the classes that fit my work schedule, which then turned into only attending … well, never attending. Work took over because I let it. Netflix took over because I let it.

Why did that happen? Nobody was waiting for me or expecting me at the gym. I had absolutely nothing to look forward to. And guilt started to sink in. I want to be active! But I did not want to be active alone.

When I started my own business as an outdoor personal and group fitness trainer, my personal experience was very much on top of my mind. I wanted to create a space where people could get a great workout, connect, make friends, keep each other accountable, miss each other and absolutely WANT to come to class. As a trainer, I feel a great responsibility to ensure everyone feels safe and welcome. I try to remember everyone's names and their stories and help them connect with each other in so many other ways than just the workout. Starting with 5 team members to almost 70 today, in all weather conditions, in all states of mind, and at all physical levels - I can proudly say that NOBODY has ever cancelled due to the weather (impressive given the arctic conditions we have had this season), nor due to lack of desire to be there.

This is the true power of a fitness community. It makes you curious, keeps you on your toes, keeps you accountable and delivers results since you become the most consistent you have ever been in a fitness routine. The best part to see and feel is how many friendships have been created in our team. The connections do not end after our workouts - they are taken to another level, including coffee dates and babysitting each other's kids! Now, if that is not powerful, what is!

"I wanted to create a space where people could get a great workout, connect, make friends, keep each other accountable, miss each other and absolutely WANT to come to class."

To find the right community for you, there are two main things to keep in mind:

#1 The right instructor/trainer

Look for one with an actual education and is qualified to teach (I always say, choose your trainer as you would your surgeon - it's a jungle out there!), then research what people have to say about the trainer and classes and how they make them FEEL. The right instructor will not only be educated but will also be able to adapt workouts to suit everyone.

#2 The right location

One that will be close enough for you to get to class on your busiest days, with no excuses - although in my experience, once you have the right instructor and team, the excuses magically disappear, and the location no longer matters.

What do you believe will keep you sticking to your fitness routines?

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