Are you a solo or a social exerciser?
There’s nothing wrong with working out alone; in fact, it could well be the right way to get the best from your fitness personality. Saying that, do consider refreshing your routine by adding the odd session with friends or family.
That’s because working out with others can have some real – and surprising – benefits.
Don’t worry if you don’t have anyone in your circle who enjoys exercise. There are still plenty of ways to reap the benefits of social exercising, from fitness classes to small-group training sessions. And you might even make some new friends along the way.
We explain some of the key ways working out with others can help you with everything from mental health to motivation.
1. Increased accountability
Working out with a friend or group will improve your consistency; this is because you haven’t just made a commitment to work out – you’ve made a commitment to someone else. Having plans makes you accountable as you can’t just cancel a class or session when you don’t feel like it.
Having someone waiting for you helps you stay on track (and get out of bed!). One example is a study that shows 95% of a group who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to the 76% who did it alone.
2. More motivation
Working out with others is a great way to gain motivation and energy. Not only are you more motivated to get out of bed and exercise, but to improve your current fitness level, push yourself harder and reach your goals.
Energy from other people can encourage you to push harder, with certain studies confirming that working out with a partner significantly increases time spent exercising and improves performance. Some healthy competition is also a big motivator for certain personality types.
3. Enhanced mental health
Joining a group exercise class, tennis session or simply committing to meeting a friend at the gym is a great way to socialise. We are social creatures that need to spend time with others and socialising has incredible mental health benefits.
Group classes are a great way to meet new people, expand your social circle and make friends. They provide a shared experience to bond over and a built-in time to see one another. Working out with others creates a great sense of camaraderie as everyone is there for the same purpose and many people find themselves making firm friends.
While any kind of workout releases endorphins, group classes can provide a further boost through smiling alone! Smiling increases endorphin levels and a fun workout class is guaranteed to put a grin on your face.
4. Encouragement to try new things
Trying a new class or type of exercise can be intimidating when you’re on your own. When you have a workout buddy, it might be easier to try new things and push out of your comfort zone with their support.
5. Spending quality time together
Exercising with a friend, partner or your children provides the perfect occasion to spend quality time with a loved one. It’s a fun, healthy way to spend time together, bonding over a shared experience and enjoying each other’s company.
Exercising with family will also help everyone stay healthy and active, encourage good habits and inspire a love of exercise.
Work out with your friends, try a fun group class, or spend quality time with your family at your local David Lloyd Club .