Active Living is an industry that has always been defined by the importance of people connecting with people. Challenging times brought on by a pandemic have resulted in finding creative ways to engage with substance; but the essence of an exceptional experience is one that is personal and often the result of engaging with others.

Let’s examine just how important connecting really is for the human spirit to flourish… and how getting out of the CAVE is critical.

C -connecting with others…

“Connectivity is the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they can derive strength and sustenance from the relationship.”- Dr. Brene Brown

Family, school, work, and church once provided people with opportunities to engage. But as recent challenges have limited these outlets, the need for engagement has become even stronger. Human beings are social animals and the need to be part of a group is significant. Studies have proven that social connections result in greater energy, uplifting spirit, and strong motivation to make healthy choices creating extended length of life.

Active living facilities have long provided the “missing link” for social engagement and although limitations brought of Covid have them, they continue to play an important role in the lives of millions of people. While virtual workouts are an important and useful tool, it has been proven that the hole in the human spirit cannot be fully satisfied without some sort of true human engagement.

A- accountability

“Accountability is the glue that ties the commitment to the result”- Bob Proctor

They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone. There’s no denying that people feel the social pressure to push themselves just a little harder when they are in a group. Following a motivational instructor in a class that will encourage you to “crank it up” just a bit will push you out of that comfort zone onto a new level. Healthy peer pressure brings forth a competitive spirit in all of us. Who hasn’t exercised at home and “just wasn’t feeling it” that day so cut the workout short? On the other hand, people seldom leave a class at the health club before it ended. Accountabilty is not only what we do… but what we do not do and with the support and challenge of peers, it’s far more likely to achieve or surpass goals in a club setting than in your basement.

V- is for variety

“Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure” – Petrarch
In order for a body to be challenged it must overcome plateaus. A plateau happens when the body has become accustomed to doing the same repeated exercises over and over again. Active living facilities are consistently offering cutting edge programming, upgrading equipment, and introducing new classes. The evolution of club programming brings forth diversity that cannot be found in a home workout thus supporting the fight against sameness.

E- is for educate and grow

“Every person under your supervision is different. They are identical in most ways, but not in all ways. You have to study and analyze every individual under your supervision and try to work with them in a way that will be more productive”- John Wooden

Generally speaking humans learn in four steps (Deconstructing a skill, self-correct, remove barriers, reinforce the skill) however the reality is every person learns in a different way. This individual approach to learning a skill set cannot be created virtually when a general class is being offered. The result is two-fold- either the lack of skill being developed results in loss of interest or loss of confidence. Having the opportunity for 1:1 time with an expert not only builds skill sets, it builds confidence.

As walking augments a traditional workout, virtual home activity is part of the whole. Eventually the pandemic will end and the pathways to connecting will be easier. But as we move into the winter months, stay out of the cave and stay connected with others.

Photo credit: Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash