We all know that regular exercise is crucial for your health, general well-being and your longevity. But if you want to maximize your workouts both mentally and physically, a growing body of research suggests that you should not train like a lone wolf. As two remarkable training researchers just typed Washington Post, Over 40 percent of “regular practitioners” prefer to train in group classes, and there are plenty of reasons why you should consider joining them. “Training in groups can have particularly beneficial benefits,” write L. Allison Philips, Ph.D., professor of psychology, and Jacob Meyer, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology, both at Iowa State University.
What follows are many of the reasons why to go the group route – whether it’s out with others (after proper social distancing and masking, of course) or even joining a virtual class from the comforts of your own home – it’s more effective way to exercise every day, according to both Philips and Meyer, as well as some of the latest studies. And if you’re looking for better exercise advice, consider these insidious ways to burn more fat every day, according to experts.
According to a study published in the journal APA PsycNet, Exercising with others can simply be more fun. “Specifically, during lessons where practitioners’ perceptions of grouping were relatively higher, practitioners reported more recollection of enjoyment, affective choice, and effort,” the study said. In other words, the study participants’ training experience was much more positive – and much more effective overall. And for more exercise inspiration, make sure you are aware of the only workout that burns fat faster than anyone else, according to science.
“Psychologist and exercise researchers that we know people are affected by around them in a few different ways,” write Philips and Meyer. “If you get to know others who exercise regularly, you begin to experience exercise as more positive, ordinary, desirable and feasible.”
They cite a study published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, who found that better physical activity – and healthier eating habits – is actually contagious. “Knowing other people who lift weights or take a spinning class affects your expressive and implicit attitudes – your thoughts and feelings – about exercise,” write Philips and Meyer. “It also shapes what are called social norms – your perception of whether others are exercising and whether you think you should.”
In short, attending a group fitness class can make you much more motivated to exercise.
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Philips and Meyer note that if you only train to achieve a new figure on the scale, your desire to train and be healthy may flag when you have reached the goal. “Training with others can make the whole process easier and more common,” they write. “Friends can be your clue as well as your reward for training.”
In other words, training can be a goal in itself and not necessarily the way to reach a goal.
A 2016 study published in the journal Obesity found that people who are overweight are more likely to lose weight if they surround themselves with a social network that is better than they are. The more time overweight people spent with their fitting friends, the more weight they were also reported to lose. Talk about win-win. And for more pressing healthy living news, make sure you are aware of the only habit that can reduce your life by 28 years, according to health experts.