What to maximize the mental and physical benefits of your workouts? Don’t go solo. A growing body of research suggests that group fitness - even if it’s virtual - is the better way to go. Exercise researchersDr. L. Allison Philips, a professor of psychology, andDr. Jacob Meyer,a professor of kinesiology, both at Iowa State University, say the group route is a more effective way of working out because it brings “particularly beneficial benefits,” including these.
- You’ll find exercise more fun- According to onestudy, working out with other people can simply be more fun. Participants who did group fitness classes said the experience was more enjoyable and much more effective overall, which is what you want from your sweat sesh.
- You’ll perceive exercise in a more positive light- Spending time with people who exercise regularly can be a good influence, Philips and Meyer explain. They cite astudythat finds better physical activity and healthier eating habits are actually contagious and suggest taking a group fitness class can make you “far more motivated” to work out.
- You’ll focus less on arbitrary goals- If you’re only working out to see the number on the scale go down, your desire to keep it up may be gone once you reach your goal. But Philips and Meyer point out that working out with friends can help make the healthy habit stick long-term and feel like less of a chore.
- You’ll lose more weight- A study published in the journalObesityfinds that overweight people are more likely to shed pounds if they surround themselves with a social network that’s more fit than they are. And the more time they spent with their fit friends, the more weight they tended to lose. Now that’s a win-win.
Source:Eat This, Not That