This article is brought to you by ICE NYC and The Yard. The Yard has partnered with ICE NYC, conveniently located just around the corner from The Yard: City Hall Park, to offer members discounted fitness memberships! ICE NYC is a group fitness facility that offers efficient and effective one-hour CrossFit, HIIT, rowing, cycling, mobility classes and access to luxury locker-rooms and showers.
Are you running out of excuses for why you’re not making it to the gym? Is it hard to rally and get yourself to the coffee shop to finish that project you’ve been contracted to finish... like yesterday? Here’s an idea: become a member of a work or workout community.
Check out six of the benefits you’ll be reaping if you add some “buddies” to your freelance and some “swolemates” to your sweat-sesh:
1. Added Encouragement
A buddy (or buddies) can give you some much needed encouragement when the deadlifts get heavy and the deadlines inch closer. From understanding or in-unison grunts to high-fives on the back, you’ll always hear your ICE family cheering you on over the pump-up music. When you join ICE NYC, you become part of a family of people working together, move more fluidly, eat more cleanly and live more boldly; we operate under a “no wo(man) left behind policy”.
The benefits of a working community are huge; according to Harvard Business Review, “People who belong to [community working spaces] report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular offices”. Their reported reason for thriving is the positive atmosphere, encouraging company and community-centered vibe.
You have a much bigger chance of skipping your workout when there’s no one counting on you. In fact, research shows that 80 percent of people believe they're more likely to stick to their plan to work out if they partner up. Your buddies (whether that be the person you row next to or person you respond to emails beside) will notice when you’re MIA. In the ICE family, it isn’t surprising if, after a few days off, you get a text from a friend or coach who’s noticed and felt your absence… talk about motivation to get yourself to the gym!
In his book, The Best Place To Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, social psychologist Ron Friedman found that employees with a friend or friends at work are typically more focused, passionate and consistent about getting to work on time than those without, because their work friends keep them happy AND hold them accountable.
3. It's Built-In Fun!
As Kristen Bell said in a recent interview with Create and Cultivate, “It’s impossible to complete life’s balancing act with a perfect record”. But communities like ICE NYC and The Yard help you obtain that perfect, if not allusive, work-life balance by combining your “must do” (working or working out) with your “want to do” (socializing). According to a recent review of more than 400 scientific studies published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review, we shouldn’t underestimate the value of strong relationships, which studies show are a MUST for successful human beings. The reason being that having social support buffers the effects of career stress, pushes you to step outside your box and encourages you to grow towards new goals.
Furthermore, a new study in Perspectives on Psychological Science, showed that loneliness might be as harmful to our well-being as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (seriously, a day!). So even when we don’t have time to grab that after-dinner drink with an old college friend or can’t (or don’t want to) make that weekend baby shower for your mom’s childhood neighbor's daughter, we can still work against the loneliness that sets in without socialization by working, or working out, with and at our communities.
Besides, a little locker-room and post-sweat stretch banter never hurt anybody ;).
4. Healthy Competition Goes a Long Way in Getting You to Your Goals
A little healthy competition is a LOT more fun when you actually KNOW the person on the rowing machine or at the table next to you in Starbucks (Yes, we see you peaking at our screens!). Plus, you are more likely to work (or work out) HARDER and LONGER when you are working (out) with a group of people.
According to research published by the Psychology of Sport and Exercise, working out with at least one person who is “fitter” than you will increase your likelihood of working harder. In the study, participants were asked to hold a plank as long as they could, and as soon as they finished, they were told that similar exercisers held the pose 20% longer than they had. Then, when asked to plank for as long as they could, participants held their second plank 5% longer than their first, thanks to the a new level of competition. With a friendly level of competition, ICE NYC helps you run faster, move quicker, lift heavier and live more balanced.
5. You'll Increase Your Opportunities to Network... Without Feeling Fake
Knowing the right people isn’t everything, but when it comes to working for yourself, it doesn’t hurt. The more opportunities you give yourself to meet people, the greater the likelihood that you will find someone with knowledge you can glean and contacts they might be willing to share. Additionally, because you already have a common denominator (be it ICE NYC or The Yard) asking for career advice and suggestions is much more organic. While career advancements are never the reason someone chooses ICE, the friendly faces you see in the gym every day are often more than willing to help you outside of the gym.
6. You'll Break Out of Your Rut
When you work out alone, it’s all too easy to fall back on the same-old exercises which is an easy way to fall into a fitness plateau. A HIIT or CrossFit class will switch up your sweat-method with routines that you wouldn’t think of alone, and that ensure all of your muscles get worked out. One of the mottos of CrossFit is “Monotony isn't welcome in our studio because routine is the enemy”.
Working out isn’t the only area of life that can often become monotonous. Waking up and sitting on the same old couch to answer the same people over email can get dull, just as waking up and getting the same coffee and sitting in the same spot can become counter-productive. The Yard combats work-ruts with their multi-dimensional spaces for business people at all stages in their careers.
Author Bio: Gabrielle Kassel is a New York based writer who has a deep affinity for weight-lifting, living mindfully and the em-dash. She has been published at Women’s Health Magazine where she worked on the online editorial team, Feather Magazine where she was a contributing health writer and ICE NYC where she works as the social media editor. In her free time she can be found reading self-help books, making soup and practicing hygge. IG: @gk.fitness