Why working out in groups gets you better results

As much as we are social creatures, the last few years have taught us the value of being able to excel and being comfortable spending time alone. Being in crowds and working with a team seems natural for extroverts who enjoy the company of others and who thrive on group energy. According to research, introverts who thrive in isolation could gain a lot in a group, at least if they exercise.

Some exercises naturally lend themselves to social interactions. For one thing, team sports and contact sports allow individuals to thrive and connect with like-minded people. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, team sports may be particularly beneficial for those who tend to be group-shy and have elevated self-esteem. Playing for a team can help reduce social anxiety and make individuals feel less intimidated in group situations.

A study observing older adults found that social environment alone elevates mood and gives participants a sense of connection and support.

While team sports can help individuals fit better in group situations, it also has a positive impact on performance. The benefits extend beyond team sports and have similar implications for those engaging in daily activities with friends. Those who participate in classes like tai chi or yoga and cardio workouts like biking or jogging benefit from a sense of camaraderie.

Individuals can benefit from personalized coaching and learn from the mistakes of their peers in groups led by an instructor. Although studies have shown that comparing one’s progress to others can be detrimental, some level of competition can give us a little extra motivation.

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The benefits of group exercise became apparent during the peak of the pandemic, when individuals turned to solo workouts. While online platforms like Peloton and Vitruvian offered people ways to keep moving, these service providers quickly realized that many users lacked that human connection.

Fitness platforms like this quickly adapted, incorporating elements of competition and engagement through leaderboards and hybrid class options that brought individuals back into gyms and studios.

Having groups of friends to hold you accountable is an effective way to stay on track with fitness goals, too. Those who train in groups are less likely to drop out at the last minute and are more willing to push themselves to try new experiences. The move to mobile apps is one way people can now find like-minded people to train with. Apps like the recently launched Krunk are focused on adventure and exercise, connecting people with similar fitness goals and interests.

And if those benefits are still making you wonder whether you should trade a quiet workout session for a group session, the added benefit of safety might persuade you to give it a try. Research shows that working with a training partner maximizes results and is safer than training alone.

See also: The downside of connectivity – can fitness apps and devices harm our health?

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