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Health and Fitness News

The Social Side of Exercise

Exercising alone, with a partner, or in a class each offers benefits. Which do you prefer?

Jogging alone on a treadmill, weight lifting with a friend, or taking a spin class. What’s your preference? Maybe some days you like exercising by yourself and other days you prefer the social aspect or a group environment. It’s fine to mix things up. As it turns out, each come with its own set of benefits.

Before getting stuck doing the same workout routine by yourself everyday, you may want to consider adding in a friend or 20. Here’s why.

Go It Alone

The most common way to exercise is by yourself. Whether you’re at home, at the gym, or on the trails, you’re on your own. Working out without a friend or class comes with some perks. For one, you set the pace, the place, and the time. Solo workouts are flexible. Maybe your schedule is unpredictable, and you like to be spontaneous when it comes to when and where you work out. When the mood strikes or when your meeting gets cancelled, you head to the gym.

Being alone also gives you time to de-stress with your own thoughts and with you own music. If you’ve got a job where you’re surrounded by people all day, exercising alone can be a way to get some much-needed “me time.” When it’s just your feet pounding the pavement, you’ve got time to unwind, decompress, and think.

Then again, maybe you’re self-conscious exercising in front of other people. When you’re alone, you don’t have to worry about what other people are thinking about your pace, form, or jiggle. You can focus on reaching your goals without comparing yourself to others’ progress.

With a Partner

While flying solo has its perks, so does working out with a partner. Do you have trouble finding motivation to exercise? Then find an exercise partner. Having someone waiting for you at the gym each morning is a huge motivator to stick to your workouts.

A workout partner can help push you to new limits whether that’s running farther, walking longer, or lifting heavier. In essence, a workout partner can encourage you to reach your fitness goals.

Meeting a friend at the gym can turn a quiet, boring evening into an enjoyable, yet challenging workout. Chatting can help the time go by faster. Trying new workouts is less intimidating. Having a spotter makes weight lifting safer and more doable. A little friendly competition is good for motivation. And having a personal trainer does all this and more, ensuring you use proper form and helping you take proper steps to reach your health goals!

A Group Setting

Spin, yoga, barre, Zumba, water aerobics, a running club, or a bunch of friends playing basketball are all ways you can get your exercise along with a group of people. Why work out with a crowd? Studies show that compared to exercising by yourself, exercising with a group is not only an effective way to get in shape and lose weight, but it also lowers your stress levels and improves your mental and emotional health.

Being surrounded by people who share your desire to lose weight, get in shape, or reach fitness goals is highly motivating. You’re not the only one sweating, huffing, and puffing, but everyone else is, too. Maybe you live or work alone. Being around other like-minded people in a fun, relaxed environment is one way you can to stay social, make friends, and have fun.