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Why you should join a fitness group – with Jessica Waite

We all know how tough it is to get started on your fitness journey. Between school, work, family, and other priorities during the day, it’s not always easy to throw on your workout clothes and head to the gym. To help give you that extra push, joining a fitness club can be one of the best things you can do for yourself! Jessica Waite, owner of HERC’s Nutrition in Winnipeg, shares her experience as being a member of a local running group. Keep reading to learn more about why she joined RunKeeper!

How long have you been running?
Growing up, I used to run a full marathon with my Dad on Father’s Day. It might have been the “younger” energy that got me through, but it’s one of the reasons why I love running so much. It really bonded us and encouraged my love for this activity.

What is RunKeeper?
RunKeeper is a community fitness app that claims more than 40 million users across all platforms. Users are able to create running groups and select different challenges of their choosing: total distance over a week or month, or number of runs over a week. Your group will get notified as you complete your runs towards the target. With group chat features, shared goals and leaderboards, it’s a great way to stay motivated and encourage other local runners!

What made you want to join?
With everything that was happening in the world with COVID-19, I needed a way to keep myself motivated. A girlfriend of mine had told me about how she was a part of a running group with people across the world (mostly Canada though) and I thought it would be a fun way to get myself back into running. I am also somewhat competitive but that’s what drives my motivation to get up and get the workout done! Seeing other people complete their runs for the day helped me get out and complete mine.

How long have you been a part of RunKeeper?
I started this running group at the very beginning of COVID-19, so March 2020.

Can you describe what kinds of runs you go on?
Most of my runs are done around Ile des Chenes on the back-dirt roads. It’s a very scenic and calm place— perfect for a 3-mile run. One of my goals next year is to hit Falcon Lake, the Trans Canada Trail, or in and around the lake more often.

What do you like about running?
I love pushing myself. Running is not always easy, but once you get in your rhythm you are unstoppable. It becomes a game of pushing yourself further, whether it’s distance or speed. I feel the absolute best after a run! I’ll have a clear mind and feel energized.

What is the community like within the running group?
Everyone goes at their own pace. There is no “competition” with anyone else, there is only a competition with yourself and what you want to accomplish. There were people that I had never met that were encouraging. It was nice to see people come together!

Is a running group right for YOU?
Running groups aren’t just for hardcore athletes and marathoners. Although it may seem intimidating, there are many fitness clubs that offer a welcoming environment for beginners. They can provide coaching, community, and motivation to help keep you on track with your goals. In fact, you are far more likely to show up and stay committed with teammates that can hold you accountable! Whether your motivation stems from self-improvement or not wanting to disappoint your fitness community, surrounding yourself with likeminded people will present new opportunities, challenges, and rewards.

Lastly, remember to have fun! One of the wonderful things about group fitness is that you can participate in several different ways. With running, you can chat with your group and check out new routes and scenic spots together. You can even get to know your group better by grabbing post-workout treats!

The sense of community that comes from accomplishing goals together, even when physically apart, makes it much more fun than exercising alone.

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