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The Start TODAY team recently concluded their February Balance Challenge in South Carolina, with Al Roker and Stephanie Mansour leading walkers across the finish line in Hilton Head and Greenville. The event was sponsored by Discover South Carolina, VisitGreenvilleSC, and Hilton Head Health, and was filled with community support and a love for walking and moving in a way that feels good. To help find enjoyment in exercise, the team asked people who have made walking and running a consistent part of their routine for their advice.

The number one tip for making fitness a habit and staying motivated is to find a tribe and not do it alone. Couples, friends, family members, and coworkers joined the Start TODAY team at the finish line, sharing how having a workout buddy has made exercise enjoyable and sustainable for them. Rebecca Surett from Greenville, SC, walks with her 70-year-old aunt, Debbie Presnell, multiple times a week and they participate in races together. Presnell also has walking and biking dates with her husband, emphasizing the importance of accountability and support in staying active.

Annaliese White from Charlotte, North Carolina, has walked with her almost 80-year-old grandmother, Suzanne Capobianco, for decades, creating a special bond through their shared walks. If you don’t have a close friend or family member to exercise with, joining a local group can provide a similar support system. Dorothy Dowe from Greenville, SC, finds that running in a group of close friends keeps her accountable and motivated, serving as a built-in group of cheerleaders to keep her going.

For those who can’t find a local group or may be too intimidated to join one in person, online forums like the Start TODAY Facebook group can offer support and motivation. Members of the online community share their struggles and successes, providing encouragement and inspiration to keep pushing forward. Taking workouts outdoors can also help feed off the energy of others, providing motivation and inspiration to keep moving. Dr. Cedreck McFadden, a board-certified surgeon from Greenville, SC, emphasizes the importance of community and connectivity in staying active and engaged in fitness.

Overall, finding a tribe to exercise with, whether it’s a close friend, family member, local group, or online community, can make a significant difference in making fitness a sustainable habit. The support, accountability, and motivation from others can help keep you on track with your goals and make exercise more enjoyable and rewarding. By surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who share your commitment to health and wellness, you can create a supportive environment that helps you stay consistent and motivated in your fitness journey.

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