Exercise Determinants: Social Environments & Physical Acivity

By November 14, 2015Blog

An icon should be here...Hello November!

I consistently find November to be one of the busiest months of the year. Work is in full swing before the holidays, and schools see midterms, final projects, and early final exams for some. There is usually a jump in family demands as well if you are the type to try and get some of the holiday visiting and running around done before mid-December. I would definitely be one of those people.

Compared to last year, this Autumn/Winter I am having an easier time of keeping up my fitness motivation and Koyabell attendance. This is because I am fortunate enough to have a friend who comes to swing kettlebells with me. And they will continue to do so because this season I gave them the gift of health by paying for a month of classes for them. A gift that is a gift to me as well. Hooray!

Anyways, what is this blog entry about? How social environment is a determinant for physical activity.

When coming to Koyabell, what comprises our social environment?
– Coaches/leadership
– Fellow students
– Your workout friends (the people you talk to and connect with inside or outside of class)
– The visual and auditory ambiance of the studio

Our coaches are friendly and awesome. Straight up. So are the students. We’ve got all ages and body types in here which definitely helps with the comfort level. Also, even though fitness purposes and goals vary across students, everyone has one thing in common: Progress, not perfection. The coaches do a lot to keep this kind of culture and vibe in the studio. We are very body and ability positive in here. Coaches do like to point out when you aren’t pushing yourself. Remember this comes from a place of love and caring. Yes, some of us are just maintaining, not looking for any strength or body transformation. Yet still, you will be given a gentle poke when it’s painfully obvious that your bell is too light. Come on! Work it! 🙂

Having a friend from outside of class come in to workout with you is great. This is why I like to give the gift of health during the holidays. No useless trinkets or junk to hang around the home. Nuh-uh, not from me. I’ll be gifting you the privilege of a free workshop, or a month of getting sweaty with me if you seem to really dig it.
Also, having a friend helps with your motivation via accountability. When you makes plans to go to a class on a particular day at a set time, guess what? You are now accountable to another person! Great strategy. I will caution workout buddies on one thing: Don’t guilt trip if your buddy can’t make it for legit reasons. It’s just rude and extremely demotivating. It also makes them feel less safe to be truthful and vulnerable around you. Just say “Ok, don’t worry about it, it’s cool”, in an upbeat manner if possible.

The visual ambiance of the studio is nice, clean, and bright. Smooth tan coloured walls with no glaring distracting posters on them. Nice and white baseboards (thx Chelsy!). And mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! So good. Watching myself in the mirror is great for form, but my real purpose for being so vain in the studio is that it’s the best motivation for me. I love watching myself workout. All that self-love starts coming into the forefront of my mind. And this is coming from Ms. Stormcloud over here.

The auditory ambiance will always be a contested issue. I’ve grown to accept this. Sort of. I hate top 40. I hate the Latin workout playlist. I can deal with the house music most of the time, and when we tried 80’s pop and 90’s rock I was pleased most of the time. But overall I personally do not like the majority of what is played during class. Ugh. Just give me some f!@#$!@#!! headphones… Sometimes I stright-up want to leave.
But everyone else seems to like it, so it is what it is. I do get to play my music sometimes, but most of the people are like “wtf this sounds like aliens…”.

I had some pictures from today to show you all!!! But they won’t upload so now I must seek tech support. Sigh…

Oh I almost forgot…

Personal progress update:

I am back to where I was before I got sick! Only took me 1 month. Longest month ever… But yes I am back to swinging a 24-32 kg kettlebell, and pressing an 8-10 kg. Even added a little 4.5kg to my roll-ups. Hooray! Very happy over here.

Today was open studio from 8am to 1pm. WHAT BLISS. BLISS I TELL YOU. When I walked in the music was definitely not to my taste. Very demotivating. But, I was last to arrive so everyone else left while I was still working out. Shirt comes off! Music goes on! We’re talking Industrial, Aggrotech, Post-Punk, and Goth Rock. YEEAAAHAHH!!!! See? It’s no surprise the regular music never pleases me. Swinging that 32kg to Grendel, and stretching to Joy Division made my day!!!! Seriously, I was breaking up rounds with dancing around the studio. Amazing!!!

So yes, pay attention to the social environment of your workout life and space. Be tolerant of others, and take time out to plan sessions where things are going to be done your way. You will love yourself for this.

Thanks for reading, ta-ta for now. 🙂

Inspiration for this post came from reflecting on how my exercise buddy Nicholas has augmented my Koyabell experience.
Some research material for this post came from:

Biddle, S., & Mutrie, N. (2001). Psychology of Physical Activity: Determinants, Well-Being and Intervention.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Doi: 10.4324/9870203019320

Full text available from here.

 

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