November Project

Every industry has its fads and trends. Health and fitness is not exempt from this. There is everything from Crossfit, to bootcamps, to gluten free, and sugar free.  It never ends.  Marketing always finds a way to turn an idea into big bucks.  The November Project was not exempt from this fate,

The November Project is not new. It started in 2011. However, it is starting to take steam and you may soon be hearing about it, especially since it is November.  The houston area does not have a group forming yet that I know of but that might change by the time this gets published.

The November project was start by two guys, Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric, who wanted to motivate each other to continue to work out through the cold winter months of Boston. The idea started at the bar over a few cold ones. They realized that every year during late autumn months going into winter they struggled to stay in shape. They agreed to meet up everyday at 6:30 am to work out. On the days they could not meet, they used the google apps and tools to keep in touch and track their progress.   

Why start a fitness progam in November and not your typical January when most start new workout programs? Well this is the time of year that most slack and start missing workouts.  We blame our laziness to any crappy excuse that we could think of – cold weather, shorter winter days, busy work schedules and holidays. It is true that the weather is not suitable for out door runs and workouts in most places this time of year. Also, the holidays keep people busy.  So actually this was the ideal time for them to start such a program to hold each other accountable and support each other during a tough time. 

As they were thinking, a light bulb went off and they realized why staying in shape was so much easier during their college days.  It wasn’t the weather, work or a busy schedule that was stopping them. It was the lack of motivation.  When in school sports no mater how tired, cold, sad or hungry we were, somehow we always showed up for practice. The main reason for doing so is because we don’t want to let the team down. Using that model they started scheduling workouts that they had to show up for. This motivated them to show up because they didn’t want to leave the other guy hanging

They chose to meet at 6:30 am in the morning. Why so early in the morning? Many people find morning workouts to be their preferred choice anyway for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons cited is that when you exercise in the morning, you get your workout out of the way. Another reason people tend to work out in the morning is because it tends to increase your energy for the rest of the day. They also did not want to leave it to chance that work or other life events would get in the way.  People who work out in the morning are overall more likely to be consistent with their workouts. No matter what time of the day you choose to work out with a partner remember consistency is the key.

The November project is now present in multiple cities in North America. Since that original promise, the group has grown to hundreds of members who exercise multiple times a week in a number of cities around the United States. Now the group selects specific locations to meet within each of these cities.  In Boston for example the group meets at locations such as the Harvard Stadium for its stairs, and Corey Hill Outlook Park. Membership is open and free to the general public. The group employs several recruiting strategies including a blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. It simply uses social media as a sense of accountability to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. People of all levels are starting to join this new movement everyone from professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, complete fitness rookies and couch potatoes. 

However one does not have to wait for the movement to kick off in Houston.  You can start your own project with your own group of friends. Establish a social media account and have everyone in the group check in daily posting and sharing workouts together. You can also take it further and share healthy recipes.  Social media also opens the group up to family and friends who may be long distance from you.  Also and most importantly don’t wait until January to get started.  There is no better time to start than today. 

Jay Jackson

I am the technical lead of the Web and Communications Committee.

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