Ideas and insight on the positive effects of working out together, by AnnaBeth Rouse.
Positive reinforcement can work wonders on your will to exercise, so it’s natural that many people seek out a crowd when they want to work out. There’s more to group workouts than just a bunch of smiling faces, though. Whether you’re burning calories at Retro Fitness or just figuring out a regimen, exercising in a group setting offers plenty of benefits. Read on to see what they are.
- Increased commitment.
When you’re inspired by others, you’re more likely to stick to your workout goals. Everyone is united in pushing towards a common goal, and you’ll be motivated to keep up.
You’ll be more likely to challenge yourself, whether to beat your peers or move past your original goals. If neither of these is your intent, you’re still more likely to exercise longer when you aren’t alone.
- Set expectations.
That isn’t to say you’ll burn yourself out, though. Having a group gives you a better lens at which to check your own goals and gauge whether they’re realistic. It doesn’t hurt to have someone around to keep you accountable or warn you of overexertion.
- New friends.
Speaking of which, a workout class or group is a great place to meet like-minded individuals who can keep your spirits high in and out of the workroom. You may even release more endorphins when you’re surrounded by pleasant company than you would alone.
- Mental boost.
A positive group setting encourages you and helps your mind release those “happy boost” that endorphins provide. Exercise is great for relieving stress and stabilizing your mood, and these effects are amplified in good company. When you’re enjoying it, you’re more likely to stick to it.
Your routine itself can benefit from group involvement, too. Gym partners can encourage you towards more challenging steps or be there with you to try something new. They can make you more willing to diversify your exercises and discover new strengths—strengths you might’ve not realized on your own.
- Your groove.
If you’ve settled into a boring routine that doesn’t do much for you, a peer’s support can help you find a workout or regimen that will better help you obtain your personal goals. Besides challenging yourself, you may set an alternate course towards your goals.
- Better form.
If you aren’t doing an exercise properly or don’t have the power to pull it off yet, a partner or group can help you correct it before injury occurs. Instructors or classmates, as well, will reduce the risk.
You want to enjoy exercising regardless of who’s around you, lest you lose the complete desire to do it, and working out in a group can enhance the whole experience. The benefits are numerous, as shown in the examples above, so you have little to lose if you seek a more collaborative outlet. By stepping up your workout with a group, you set yourself up for greater success.