Would you like a hug with that work-out?

november_club.jpgHow many of us start out with high hopes for our workout routines, only to see that resolve sputter and die before too long? Add to that the wintry cold weather that’s on its way in many parts of the country, and most of us lack the motivation to get out on a frigid morning to burn off those extra calories. Of course we could always go to the gym, but mindlessly plowing away on an elliptical is so isolating … and boring to boot

Three years ago two college kids (rowers at Northeastern University) made a pact to do their workouts together through the month of November, thus coming up with the name The November Club. Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric, had a simple-enough plan: motivate each other, socialize, and get in some exercise during one of the chilliest and, might we add, most turkey-and-stuffing-filled, month of the year.

Today the free-for-all November Club has gained a real crowd of members on a grassroots level. From Boston to the Nation’s capital, everyone wants in on the action.

So what makes this simple concept stick? Well, some say it’s all about the hugs. Yep! You heard that right. The November Club is more than just a workout group. It’s about making connections with new people and socializing while you burn those calories.

It might sound silly to some, but show up at one of the November Club’s scheduled workouts and you might find yourself being instructed to turn to the stranger beside you and give them a hug or even a tickle them under the chin. These icebreakers help to loosen people up, bringing a sense of comradery, lightheartedness, and fun to the 6 a.m. frigid stair runs.

One of the movement’s leaders, Steve Christensen, is quoted in The Washington Post:

At many other free fitness groups in the area, it’s possible to show up and not feel as though you’ve actually met anyone, Christensen says. At the November Project, a workout without a personal connection is a failure, no matter how many calories you burn.”

Intrigued? Visit The November Club’s webpage to find out more and see if there is a tribe in your area. All you have to do to participate is put on your workout gear and show up!

PHOTO: Courtesy of the NovemberProject.com


 Read all articles by Juniper Briggs

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