The initial excitement to form a habit of going to the gym carries you through a few sessions on the treadmill, but we have all experienced a time when it was hard to get to the gym. Part of the reason could be in the company you (don’t) keep. Going to the gym is not fun, and finding the motivation to go alone can be an exhausting task of its own. If you are struggling to get to the gym, recruit a group of friends (or make some at the gym) to go with you. Not only is working out in a group more fun; research has proven that group exercise is better for your workout and your overall health.

You’re More Likely to Work Out in the First Place

Workouts with a group are just more enjoyable. Even if you don’t know anyone when you start attending a group fitness class, you can make friends by attending week after week. A group of friends (new or old) can hold you accountable and encourage you to attend group fitness classes. Going to the gym isn’t just about losing weight or building muscle; it becomes a community event and a chance to socialize with friends who have similar health goals.

This is a proven phenomenon. A study that looked at group and individual fitness showed a significant difference in the amount of people that completed a weight-loss program while in a group (95%) vs. the amount of people that completed the program while working alone (76%.) 

You’ll Get a Better Workout.

We’ve all experienced a moment at the gym where we talk ourselves into a lighter workout. When you’re next to a friend who is going at their usual pace (or pushing themselves more than usual,) you’re less likely to get away with that lighter workout.

When we work out next to friends, we’re more likely to push ourselves, which results in an overall better workout.

Part of this is due to the Kohler Effect, which says that no one wants to be the last in line. The “weakest” person will be more motivated to run faster, jump higher, and work harder. This mentality pushes people to their full potential, and everyone gets more out of their workout. Scientists published a study in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology that asked people to workout by doing planks. The participants that exercised with a friends were more motivated to hold their plank and increased their time by 24%. 

You’ll Be More Likely to Make Exercise a Habit.

The same study mentioned earlier followed up with the participants after the study was over; the friends that exercised in a group was 42% more likely to keep the weight off. It takes a few weeks to make exercising a long-term habit. If people are holding you more accountable throughout those few weeks, the habit creation process is more natural.

Need a Group? Start With a Group Fitness Class.

Even if you join a group of strangers at a single boxing or HIIT class, you can feel confident that you will be getting the most out of your overall workout. Before you book, we’ll leave you with the results of a recent study from the University of New England in Australia. Participants were able to choose from a variety of fitness routines to complete over the course of 12 weeks, including group fitness classes. The participants who chose group fitness classes reported an average 12.6% increase in their physical quality of life, 24.8% increase in mental quality of life, and 26% increase in emotional quality of life.

What are you waiting for? Book your next group fitness class!

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