Exercise is highly beneficial, not only for the body but for the mind too. In this article, we are going to highlight some of the social benefits of exercising regularly.
Research has shown that exercise can boost the mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
An often overlooked benefit of exercise is the social benefits associated with exercising regularly. Attending a local gym or exercise class can be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons.
Top 10 Social Benefits of Exercising
Sticking to a workout regime is tough, research has highlighted that more 80% of people who start a workout regime quit within one month of starting the regime. These statistics are not good, it indicates that people struggle with discipline and find it difficult to push themselves to continue on their fitness journeys. Going to the gym or running in groups can totally improve discipline when it comes to exercising.
How does working out with a friend improve discipline?
There are certainly going to be days when you are simply not in the mood to exercise. If you workout with a friend or a group of friends, chances are, on days when you are lacking discipline, they might be pumped and ready to go. Their encouragement alone will help to boost your discipline, and you will also have someone to help to hold you accountable when you don’t show up.
Exercising regularly at the gym or jogging in the park can provide you with the motivation to show up and actually exercise more often. When there are other people working out at the same time, it motivates you to keep going. Especially if you work out with friends who are also on a health journey, you can motivate each other to keep striving towards your fitness goals.
Build Meaningful Friendships
The best friendships are often built when you meet someone who is on the same path as you. Signing up for a team sport or exercise class is a good way of meeting new people and building meaningful and long lasting friendships. Building meaningful friendships and companionship actually reduces anxiety and depression. It also provides genuine physical health benefits too.
Health Benefits of Friendship
Scientists have identified a connection between meaningful friendships and relationships and the immune system. People who have meaningful, strong relationships and friendships usually have a stronger immune system than those that do not have strong friendships. Maintaining good friendships can actually reduce the chances of you getting sick. For example, you will be less likely to experience heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and arthritis if you have a good network of reliable and trustworthy friends.
Friendship can actually lower stress levels, because the comfortable feeling you get when you know you have a good friend actually plays a significant role in the way the body deals with stress. Also, the simple act of talking through your problems can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. These are some of the benefits of exercising.
When you have a friend who supports and encourages, it makes you feel loved and reassured. Reassurance and encouragement can actually boost confidence and make you feel at ease.
Happiness is essentially a choice, and no one can actually make you happy so to speak. However, friends, family and spouses can help to boost your mood and enhance, or add to your happiness. Research has also shown that you can dramatically boost your happiness by actively seeking and building friendships as opposed to waiting for the friendships to come to you.
When you feel down, connecting with your happy friends can also boost your mood dramatically.
Joining group challenges on social media can also help to build your social circle. For example, you want to lose 50 pounds in weight but you don’t really have any friends, you can’t afford to join the gym and you are pretty shy, so running in the park or in the street is simply not an option. You can get involved in a group weight loss challenge online and experience the same level of support and encouragement. You can even build meaningful, strong relationships on the Internet and increase your social circle both online and offline.
Enhancing team building skills can boost confidence and reduce stress levels. Team building can also enhance your interpersonal skills and make you a happier, healthier person. In a research study undertaken in the mid 90’s, it was revealed that some of the main components of team building are shared vision and unification when it comes to purpose. Synergy and collaboration in a progressive and positive environment can help to increase confidence and improve self-esteem.
You can enhance your team building skills by taking part in team sports and team workout sessions.
Processing Difficult Emotions
Difficult emotions can have a detrimental effect on your social life, that is if you don’t process them in an effective way. If you take out your feelings of anger and sadness on your friends instead of finding more positive ways of processing the emotions, it can potentially destroy your relationships. Exercising can provide you with an appropriate space to process your feelings. Running, jogging, dancing, cycling or swimming can all facilitate the process of dealing with negative emotions, thus enhancing your social experience.
Ideas to help you meet new people
Here are some exercise ideas to build your social circle:
Group Sessions at the Gym
Try the following classes at the gym
- Spin class
- Dance fit
- Aqua Aerobics
- Core workout classes
You can find out about l running groups from your local gym or by doing a quick online search. Running groups are excellent for beginners who want an extra boost of motivation to build their fitness and discipline.
Just like running groups, you can find out about a group near you by asking about it at your local gym or by doing a Google search for cycling groups in your local area.
Hiking and Walking Groups
If you don’t fancy running or cycling groups, look for a local hiking or walking group. Walking decreases anxiety, boosts the mood and while you are walking, you can meet new people and build meaningful relationships.
Rocking climbing is excellent for building your social circle and taking part in regular rock climbing sessions can significantly strengthen the muscles and bones.
Exercise is vital for keeping the body healthy however, as we have demonstrated in this article, regular exercise can have several social benefits too. It should be an essential part of your day to day, try and exercise for 40 minutes at least three to four times per week as a group or alone. However, if you want to build your social circle and experience the social benefits associated with exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, get out there and find a local workout group or exercise session.
Exercising is not just about physical health and weight loss, it can also have a significant positive effect on your mental health too. You should never underestimate the health benefits and the social benefits of physical activity.