We always talk about the benefits of positive encouragement from a workout buddy and the benefits of socializing, but recent research actually shows the benefits may run much deeper. Exercising in groups not only strengthens social bonds, but strong social bonds actually improve your exercise performance!
A 2015 research study took groups of people and had them perform a group task after exercise together at low or moderate intensity. Moderate intensity exercising in the group environment actually improved cooperative behavior amongst the group.
When people continually exercise together or participate in a team sport their relationships become stronger. Amazingly, when you take groups of people already close (spouses, friends, coworkers, etc) and have them exercise together, they perform better than when exercising individually! We see this all the time when spouses or friends come to physical therapy together or even in our personal lives when we exercise with our loved-ones! If you’re looking to begin an exercise program or break through plateaus, grab a buddy and get moving!
Here is some actionable advice on how to make this happen:
- Search online for a fitness community in your neighborhood and get plugged in (Crossfit, FitTribe, or various kickboxing gyms are some common examples)
- Find a friend or family member to take outside (walks, jogs, hikes, it doesn’t have to be complicated…walking lunches with a coworker will even do)
- Many “globogyms” offer some form of group classes ranging from Zumba, Yoga, or Body Pump
Hope this advice helps! Stay Healthy my friends,
Cole Racich, PT, DPT, OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist