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In Print The Essentials

Intentional Connection Through the Power of Group Fitness


The key to long lasting wellbeing is social connection. This would explain why the majority of exercisers — especially those who succeed at being consistent with an exercise habit long-term — do so in a social setting.

In his book “Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect,” Matthew Lieberman reveals that humans have an innate drive to connect with others.  So much so, the pain we feel when we are rejected is as real as physical pain.

A large portion of our thoughts, feelings and actions are motivated by our hard-wired desires to belong to a group, be in a loving relationship and avoid the pain of rejection and loss. Whether we like it or not, we are designed to thrive together.

Connection is vital for our wellbeing. But in today’s “Connection Age,” we are actually more disconnected than ever.

As we take time this month to be thankful for the things we appreciate in our lives, I invite you to bring intention to the work you do as fitness directors and leaders. The impact of bringing exercisers together in a group extends long after a class.

This begins with self-awareness — clarify around your goals and intentions. Once we know what ignites our own light, it is about believing in the greater connection and power of others: our friends and community. The connection we have with others helps us to reach our own goals and find commonalities with others, and in doing so achieve far more than we could on our own.

This month’s Thanksgiving celebration is a perfect time to reflect on your relationships with people both individually and collectively in your community. I invite you to come into all relationships this month with a giving lens.

Get out into the world by opening the door for others to connect with you and with fellow members. Set a clear intention for yourself about how you will connect with others and positively impact their experience. Choose simple ways to connect with people and take action.


Mo Hagan is the vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro.

Mo Hagan

Mo Hagan is the VP of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness.

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