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How to Start an Exercise Club

When it comes to exercise, peer pressure can be a good thing. Exercise clubs help you stay motivated, because you’re scheduled to work out at a certain place at a certain time. If there’s not a club in your area, start one yourself!

  1. Decide what you want.
    Choose a type of exercise (such as walking or running), then consider who might be interested in your club. If you stay home with your children, you may want to start daytime walks with other parents. If you work, maybe lunchtime would be better. Also, consider whether you want to attract only a specific group, such as long-distance runners.
  2. Spread the word.
    Invite family, friends, neighbors, and/or coworkers to join the club. Also, hang posters advertising a kickoff meeting. Hold the meeting in a public place near the area where you’d like to exercise. If you’re looking for specific groups of people—such as new moms or retired people—hang posters (with permission, of course) in places where they might shop, work, or exercise.
  3. Kick it off.
    At your first meeting, talk about where and when you’d like to exercise, how often you want to meet, and how long your route should be. If you’re walking outdoors, consider having an alternate location for bad weather. Also, discuss guidelines for the club, like whether cell phones or dogs are permitted and if members want to keep exercise logs. It’s a good idea to collect all members’ contact information.
  4. Make it fun.
    Talk to your group about working toward a specific goal, such as a charity walk or a 10K. You could also organize fitness outings to parks, mountains, historic sites, or city landmarks. Another idea is for the group to invite speakers to talk about fitness, nutrition, or other health-related topics.
  5. Keep it safe.
    Always include a warm-up, cooldown, and stretch. Encourage members to bring plenty of water, as well as to wear sunscreen and layered clothing if you’re exercising outdoors. Also, make sure everyone in your club has talked to their doctors about starting an exercise program.