Now more than ever, many of us are spending increasing amounts of time alone. As far as exercising goes, doing it alone can often feel like the most convenient option: there’s no scheduling or planning involved, and you can work out at your own pace. However, science suggests that there are many benefits to working out in groups with friends. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly made group fitness more difficult, there are still rewarding ways to add a social component to your fitness regimen.
The Physical Benefits
While getting exercise in any capacity is better than none at all, evidence shows that those who exercise in groups see increased results of their efforts. For example, in one study, those who participated in walking groups saw statistically significant improvements in a variety of widely used measures of health, including resting heart rate, BMI, blood pressure, and more.
Group exercise can also increase your adherence to your fitness regimen. It’s common sense: when you commit to working out with friends, you create a greater sense of accountability for yourself, and are less likely to get distracted or make other plans. Group exercise can also increase the intensity of your workouts by creating a healthy sense of competition between you and other members of your group. It’s well worth the little bit of extra planning.
The Mental Benefits
While the physical benefits are great, the mental benefits of group exercise are even better. Fitness groups can be a great way to make new friends, and exercise has long been linked with a decreased risk of mental health issues like depression. In one study from Australia, a group of homeless men were invited to join a group fitness program. Participants consistently reported greater feelings of mental wellbeing and social inclusion upon their completion of the program.
According to CDC guidelines, following several precautions like meeting outdoors, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a mask can decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission while exercising in groups significantly.
With Shred, you can also connect with others for group fitness virtually and from the safety of your own home. With our Social features, you can add friends, sync your workouts with them, and interact with a global, motivating community that will push you through your training to help you reach your fitness goals.