The Social Benefits of Exercise
Exercising is one of the most productive and generally beneficial things anyone can do with their time. It’s good for our health, both physical and mental, our attitudes, and even our opinions, but have you ever considered the benefits that come with the social side of exercise?
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- The Benefits of Social Exercise
- Social Ways to Exercise
One of the first places people look when it comes to looking at these social benefits that exercise has to offer come from motivation. Most of us struggle to stick to a workout plan at some point or another. whether you get busy or you get bored, there are tonnes of excuses out there. Exercising with a friend is one of the best days to give you a huge push to keep you going and spur you on more than you could normally.
On the same kind of lines, confidence is another factor that social exercise can benefit, especially if you're new to it. Getting in the gym or starting a new workout for the first time can be really daunting. Having someone else there that has your back can seriously make all the difference. No matter if you're joining a sports team, hitting the gym together or just discussing home workouts, it can really help to know you're not alone.
Taking things into a more positive light, exercising with others can actually be an awesome way to make things more fun too. Increased motivation isn't the only thing that benefits your performance from exercise. Having someone else there with you to talk to and progress with can actually make things way more fun than solo work. Take our word for it!
If someone else presence isn't quite enough for you to keep pushing on, competition always can be. If you're working out with a friend or even playing in a team, making competition is easy. See who can hit their goals first, lift the most weight, do the most reps, score the most goals, whatever you like. Making a little game of it can really get the determination building, and that can push you more than anything if you enjoy it.
If you have the chance to exercise with someone that's more experienced than you or even in a group, that alone can open new doors and show new benefits that you never even knew you needed from social exercise. Having someone who knows more than you si the best way to learn new and better ways to do things. whether it's a new exercise or a better technique, a wise training buddy or teammate can be a real game-changer if you're willing to learn and support each other.
The last social benefit we'll look at before we get onto the best examples is how you can support one another. Even after all of the physical benefits of exercising with a friend leave the table, you're still left with the support and encouragement that you just can't get working alone. Having your own personal cheerleader, drill sergeant, coach or spotter is one of the best ways to push yourself to your absolute limit and feel awesome for even trying in the first place.
One of the best ways to get started with the idea of social exercise and its benefits is taking a class. Exercising on your own can be easier to focus yourself and personalise your workout, but taking a class is a completely different story. Many people are wary at first, with concerns that the people in the class already will be at a greater skill level or already in their own groups, but this is very rarely the case.
In reality, you’ll be turning up in a room of people who are all there for the same reason. Chances are, they'll be pretty friendly too! The instructor alone will interact with the members of the class and make sure that you know what you’re doing and how to do it perfectly. It makes your exercise safer as well as possibly more effective (but that's a topic on its own!).
On a smaller scale, workout partners do a very similar sort of thing (not to be confused with working out with your partner, unless that is your workout partner...). When you develop a consistent group of workout partners or even just one training buddy, you will more than likely find your exercise routines more enjoyable. The mental support from encouraging each other and motivating each other to push further or increase the weight is a boost alone. It gives you a psychological edge that you may not have already had and can be a game-changer in the long and short term.
You also have the physical support that working out in a group has to offer, with them being able to point out any dangers or flaws in your exercise techniques that you may not have even noticed or been able to see, as well as also being able to spot you whilst you try out heavier weights than you could on your own, and can do so safely. (And here's how to do all of that well!).
Outside of the gym, there are similar social benefits that you can apply to your exercise routines too. Many of the exercises you see people doing out of the house like running or cycling can have the same ideas applied as well, with a lot of communities having groups set up by local sporting facilities or even online to organise these things, because of the fact that they give this extra motivation and a chance to meet new people whilst you’re working out.
The same applies to playing sports too. People love playing and training with sporting clubs and playing games on weekends or even weeknights. It makes the exercise not only more enjoyable but gives you something to do with your free time and a chance to compete if that’s what you like doing. It's all relative and it's all sociable!
As we mentioned above, online communities are actually a key part of social exercising as well. It’s not always the first point that springs to mind when you think about being sociable with your workouts, but more and more people are joining groups on social media or sharing things about their own workouts, which many of their connections are engaging with.
This means that not only can you take encouragement from your friends and share your personal goal accomplishments, but you can also learn from other people and how they are training. There are even forums and message boards that you can participate in to make sure you can get the information you need, whilst still being able to help others and make new friends along the way.
To sum all of this up, any way to exercise is a good choice, and support along the way is never a bad thing. find a way that you personally like to exercise and do something that you'll still enjoy in a months time. exercise is so much more than just working out, and if exercising with others is good for you, then do it more!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.