Is Exercising in a Group Better for Your Health?


Getting that extra kick from your daily gym routines may come from something other than your pre-workout rituals or protein shakes. It may also come from working up a sweat with like-minded individuals who push you to attain your goals. 

Whether you enjoy exercising alone or in a group, staying active has no disadvantages. However, reports indicate that Americans need to catch up to the national exercise guidelines. In addition, working out alone may deprive you of certain health benefits only available when you work out in a group. 

What Are the Benefits of Exercising?

Exercise has many mental benefits, including improved sleep, mood, and sex drive. To decipher the specific benefits of exercising in groups, researchers conducted a study on different groups of students, where one group exercised together while the second group exercised individually. 

After measuring the stress levels and quality of life across the two groups for several weeks, researchers found out that those that exercised in groups recorded significant improvements in the quality of life and a reduction in their stress levels.

On the other hand, Solo exercises only recorded an improvement in their mental aspects. 

Other research on exercising together has targeted research on other areas, such as pain tolerance, social binding, and athletic performance. 

In a study carried out in 2013, researchers studied several people that exercise in groups as well as individually. After the study, the scientists discovered that people who rowed in groups had a higher level of pain tolerance compared to those that rowed solo. This was attributed to the endorphins that are released when doing activities in sync with one another. This is known as behavioral synchrony. 

Exercising together may further boost your performance, especially in situations where you already have pre-existing relationships with the other people in the group. A study carried out in 2015 found that rugby players who coordinated their movements during their warm-up sessions performed significantly better during a follow-up test that tested their endurance. These athletes that performed better were already part of a close-knit team, which led the researchers to believe that such exercise reinforced the pre-existing social bonds between the players. 

Exercise With Those You Love 

Behavioral synchrony has been shown to have more benefits when exercising than going solo. Therefore, when you’re putting in those reps, make sure it’s with those you love.