As is common knowledge, people working out or exercising in groups or along with friends, get both physically and mentally fit. It is scientifically proven that working out in a group lowers stress by about 26% compared to working out alone. Also, the quality of your life as per group exercise benefits and mental health improves largely.
True that exercising alone will help your body physically but it has little to no positive effects on your mental health. According to a lead researcher on the benefits of group exercise study DrDayna Yorks; there are umpteen benefits of working out in groups. Some of these are encouragement, motivation, and other communal benefits.
Benefits of group exercise study:
A group of 69 medical students with considerably high levels of stress and poor quality of life were subjected to the benefits of group exercise study. They were divided into three sections namely solo, grouped, and a control. On one hand, the individuals in the solo group were asked to go through an intermediate fitness training every week in solo units.
The participants of the latter group in the benefits of group exercise study had to lift weights and following a running schedule but only with other members in a team or with a bunch of a few other students. This study concluded at 4 weeks and the results, in the end,were calculated on the basis of change in the stress levels and the quality of lives these participants finished at.
Results of the experiment:
In a time period of four weeks, the students in the group class experienced about 12.6% betterment in their mental health and a staggering 24.8% improvement in their physical health.In addition to that, there was an overall 26% decrease in stress levels. The next group, the one that exercised solo, experienced little change in improving the quality of life of the students.
In a period of 12 weeks, the latter group experienced about 11% improvement in the mental health. There was no such change in the control group. However, the latter group in the benefits of group exercise study was found to put in more productive working hours than that of the former group. The reason is that they spent less time socialising and more time working out. Even so, there were negligible beneficial effects on the mental health and wellbeing of these individuals.
The medical students that took part in this exercise were already experiencing symptoms of low energy, excitement, lack of motivation, and absence of encouragement. However, when applying the results of this exercise, one must remember that the effects can be different for people with different professions, ages, sexes, and lifestyles. However, the underlying factor remains the same.
Why you should consider working out with friends:
Man is a social animal. Which is why a couple of friends tagging along with each other to a gym is a common sight than somebody doing it alone. These benefits of working out in groups reflect in your lifestyle and mindset too.
· Motivation from peers is very important. While working out in groups a person feels to go along with others and in fact do very well.
· Boredom seldom arises when exercising with one another. An up-tempo music while exercisingis fun, especially in a group activity.
· As per the benefits of group exercise study, encouragement from your fellow mates can, push you to do much better than you ’d otherwise do all alone.
A person working out alone is less likely to be motivated by all these factors. This is why you should consider working out with friends rather than alone. However, if you are compelled to exercise in solitude, make sure you listen to encouraging music, podcasts, or even workout sessions on YouTube or so.
Doing this will help keep your motivation alive and inspire to reach your daily goals. Also, it is advised to encourage group exercises for a few minutes every day, especially in places like medical colleges or creative spaces where anxiety and stress are the most common factors in professionals.
Group exercise vs individual exercise:
Group exercise benefits and mental health go hand in hand. Also, a good night’s sleep, improving your energy levels and mental stability are added advantages. The benefits of group exercise study, based on the above-mentioned published study, showed significant improvement in stress levels, quality of life, and even fitness related quotients. Whereas on the other hand, the ones going through the solo routine showed improvement in their mental quality of life.
Also, the members of the latter group put were able to put in more productive working out hours than the former group. With this, we can safely say that both types of work out have their own pros and cons. However, based on the results of these benefits of group exercise study, it is now up to you to decide which one to implement given your own personal conveniences and preferences.
The best way to benefit from both types is to use a blend of solo and group workouts. Devise a schedule like working out alone on the weekdays and in groups on the weekends. Or if you are a regular solo exerciser, spare aside a few minutes after your workout to socialise with people and spend a little while exercising with them too. If you always workoutwith a group, try exercising in solitude for a day to experience the advantages of it too.
The benefits of group exercise study had some limitations. For example, only medical students participated in this research. When the overall long-term advantages are considered regarding group exercise vs. individual exercise, it is always recommended to work out in groups as it has more benefits compared to working out individually. It is been concluded that the more contact a person has with health professionals or other participants, the more he is motivated and experiences plenty more improvement both in its physical and mental health in the long run.