How do you like to work out? Are you the kind of person who goes to the gym to get in, hit it hard, and get out, or do you enjoy socializing with your friends and fellow gymgoers? For the majority of people, the gym is a place to expand your social circle and meet new people. It turns out that that “meeting new people” could actually help you to improve more than just your fitness.
According to a study done by the International Journal of Stress Management, working out alone is far less beneficial than working out with friends or in a group. Those who worked out in a group were calmer than their alone counterparts, and they experienced less tiredness after the workout. All in all, working out in a group benefitted them in many ways!
Note: Both men and women had a positive experience working with others, with men more so though. Men need the camaraderie and increased competition that exercising in a group gives.
Here are some of the benefits of exercising with a group:
Motivation — What could be more motivating than working out with others? You’re all pushing together, trying your hardest to complete the difficult exercises. You’ll find that training alongside a friend or group of friends can be the best way to motivate you to do more and go harder.
Fun — For many people, the gym is boring. You spend an hour or so listening to the music piped over the sound system, or hear those same tunes you’ve been hearing for years. When working out with friends, you can engage in lively conversation, laugh, and have fun. Working out with others is often much more enjoyable than being alone.
Happiness — Did you know that people with an active social life are less likely to suffer from depression? Being part of a group is one of the best ways to fight off depression and “moody blues”, and you can feel much happier with your efforts at the gym.
Help — When lifting alone, it’s dangerous to lift more than you’re accustomed to. Many people end up lifting less weight and performing fewer reps in order to be safe. But when working with someone else, you have a spotter that can help you in case your strength gives out. This is the key to pushing yourself harder than ever, which will lead to much better results.
Accountability — It’s much harder to flake on a workout when all of your friends are meeting up at the gym. You’ll find yourself attending more classes and training sessions just because you have someone else holding you accountable.
Challenge — Seeing what others are capable of will often challenge you to try to do more. Or, seeing what you are capable of may challenge your friends to do more. Either way, the group dynamic helps you all to push past your current limitations and strive for better overall fitness.
Knowledge — You may know a little bit about running, lifting weights, CrossFit training, and other types of exercise, but can you really say you know it all? No doubt your friends have valuable input to offer, such as how to improve your form, advice to make certain exercises more effective, and so on. The more knowledge, the better!
As you can see, there are many benefits of exercising with a group! It’s a great way to get in shape and get healthy in the company of your friends.
For those you may have friends who want to exercise together take them up on it, even if it’s only once or twice a week. If you don’t have such a group of friends, there are a few other places to find a group to get together with.
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Ask your coworkers.
- Meet people at the gym.
- Take classes at the gym.
- Ask at your local sporting stores for groups.
- Contact local sports teams.
- Join mall walking groups.
While some people prefer to exercise alone, many do better in the company of others. They feel supported and have camaraderie, which pushes them to keep going. Whatever the type and level of activity you’re into, you’ll find the support if you need it.