The social benefits of exercise and how to reap them.

We all know that exercise has plenty of benefits that reach far beyond the physical health…..Not only does It help prevent many degenerative conditions and diseases like diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and many cancers but also makes us feel better, elevates our spirits and helps to fight anxiety and stress.

However, if you put yourself in the social setting, the benefits seem to expand even further.

Nowadays, when more and more people report suffering from loneliness, this subject seems to be relevant. According to recent research, loneliness seems to affect our lives on many levels, often contributing to physical conditions like cardiovascular disease, increased risk of stroke and chronic inflammation.

Technology has made it possible to go about our lives without even leaving our house which greatly limits our interaction with other people.  More people work from the comfort of their home, spending more time using their phones and other screens rather than communicating with those who are next to them.

However, all humans are social beings and thrive in the company of others. Children need to be surrounded by other people to develop normally and build on their social skills. Adults seek the company of others in order to feel fulfilled and appreciated and simply because it is their human nature.

Moreover, communication skills are at the top of the desired skills in most of the job descriptions. So, as you see, surrounding yourself with the right crowd is very important and even though finding time for socialising might not be easy, there are always ways to try to get more social.

 

 

Benefits of exercising in the company of others:

  • More social interactions

One of the best ways to meet like-minded people and make friends is through sports. You do not need to be an athlete to join a local running, football or tennis club or a gym class to enjoy doing what you like doing and at the same time getting to spend time with others.

If you are not interested in a team sport you can still reap the social benefits of exercise by asking an acquaintance to meet you for regular walks or by meeting people at the local swimming pool or tennis courts.

As your emotional health and self-esteem improve, your social relations will too. You may be more likely to reach out to others due to your increased self-confidence. Also, participating in a sport or a gym class will introduce you to new people, giving you an opportunity to connect with others who might share your interests and hobbies.

  • Accountability

If you know there is someone waiting for you to do the work-out with, you are much more likely to turn up. We all go through all sorts of dilemmas in our heads, looking for suitable excuses not to exercise. However, we do not like to disappoint others so we are much more likely to make sure that we will be there.

 

  • Encouragement to push ourselves

When we work out on our own, we can rely only on ourselves to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. When you exercise in a group, your spirit of competitiveness seems to wake up and take over. Everyone enjoys a little bit of competition and is likely to push themselves a little bit harder if training in a group.

 

So, in order to tap into lots of social and emotional benefits of exercise, establish a regular weekly routine and you will be feeling less stressed and more social in no time.

Whether it is a marathon or a brisk morning walk in your local park, you are going to enjoy it much more if you do it in the company of others.

 

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