Diversity and inclusion are important in every aspect of life, but especially fitness. Health and wellness are vital for everyone, and having access to an inclusive fitness community makes it easier to reap these benefits.
Maybe you feel uncomfortable going to your local gym, don’t have the budget for a personal trainer, or feel limited by your age. Things like this can make it very discouraging to work out regularly. But with an inclusive fitness community, staying fit is easier, more accessible, and more enjoyable.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be an inclusive fitness community and where you can find one.
What is an inclusive fitness community?
An inclusive fitness community is an accessible space where everyone can come to improve their health and fitness. It’s a space where each person feels represented and welcome and is seen and viewed as valuable. And it’s a place where people have opportunities to grow, no matter their abilities, background, size, race, income level, or other socioeconomic factors.
Why are inclusive fitness spaces important?
Everyone should have access to inclusive fitness environments because everyone deserves the space and ability to pursue their health and wellness goals. Without an inclusive fitness space, certain people or groups may have lasting adverse effects on their health and wellness, such as poor mental health, obesity, or chronic health problems like heart disease. When fitness communities are diverse and inclusive, it’s beneficial on a personal level and improves the community as a whole.
What are the main benefits of an inclusive fitness community?
There are so many benefits of diversity and inclusion, but here are just six reasons why it’s crucial to cultivate inclusive fitness communities:
1. It provides access to everyone.
With a fully accessible fitness community, no one is hindered by things like a lack of transportation, childcare, or time. Regardless of circumstances or budgets, an inclusive fitness space allows everyone to exercise regularly at their own pace, in their own way, and feel good doing it.
2. It provides a welcoming space to exercise.
If you’ve ever walked into a fitness center and felt out of place, you understand how difficult it can be to continually go to an unwelcoming environment to run, bike, lift weights, or play sports. On the contrary, an inclusive fitness community helps people with disabilities, minorities, and other members of marginalized groups feel less isolated by offering a diverse and welcoming setting for exercise. This fosters a sense of belonging for all people.
3. It improves relationships.
Exercising alongside friends, family, and strangers offers opportunities to talk, share, and encourage one another. An inclusive fitness community is also a fantastic place to meet other people in your community and make new friends as you continue your fitness journey and work to achieve your personal wellness goals.
4. It enhances mental and physical health.
Improved access to fitness spaces can improve overall physical health. Regular exercise equates to better health, fewer chronic health problems, and longer lifespans. It also empowers you and gives you more energy, and provides nourishment for your body and soul.
Equally as important, inclusive fitness communities also improve your mental health. They encourage people of all sizes, shapes, races, abilities, and sexual orientations to get active by offering diverse representation, encouragement, and peer support. This type of environment can help boost self-esteem, improve stress management, and enhance productivity.
5. It improves cultural competency.
Along with a diverse and inclusive fitness community comes more opportunities to learn, listen, and grow. By surrounding yourself with people who are different, you can discover more about your cultural beliefs and biases and how those relate to others. And by taking the time to listen and ask questions, you’ll grow to understand, honor, and respect others’ values and beliefs, which is beneficial in all aspects of life—not just your health and wellness.
6. It builds a richer community.
No matter who you are, you bring something unique to contribute to your fitness community. And a diverse wellness space is much more rich and meaningful because it isn’t just about performative goals and milestones. Instead, it’s about solidarity, support, fun, and harmony among those within the community.
How is Vingo an inclusive fitness community?
Vingo is easily accessible to everyone. It’s a free fitness app on iOS and Windows with any computer or phone. It’s compatible with all treadmills and indoor bikes, so you can work out with whatever equipment you own or have access to. And it also allows you to work out with the app using an avatar made from a selfie. So you can look and feel like yourself in a virtual fitness space!
The Vingo app also offers countless routes in different virtual worlds, with varying difficulty levels for all fitness levels. So whether you can only run half a mile or you’re training for a marathon, Vingo was made for you. Whether you choose to set fitness goals or you’re just in it for fun, you can run, walk, or bike with Vingo at your own pace.
Although you can use Vingo to compete with friends or other Vingo users, the main goal is to have fun! Unlike all those hyper-competitive fitness apps, Vingo is meant to be enjoyable and exciting for everyone in a supportive space free of judgment.
So no matter who you are, what you can or can’t do, or how you prefer to work out, Vingo is a welcoming fitness space for all.