A study from Oxford University showed that rowers training alone withstood less pain (a key measure of endorphins) than those who exercised together. Those exercising in a group produce more endorphins which elevates mood and enhances social bonding.
There are many benefits for people exercising in a group: social and motivational – group sessions really do work.
A friend of mine recently supported this view ‘I like the fun and friendship of exercising in a group, we encourage each other to work that little bit harder’ Here, we note that not only is exercise more fun but we are likely to perform better due to the increased motivation.
Recently we had a group doing a running session – when we put them into teams the improved performance was amazing. Perhaps there was a sense of not letting the team down, working together and the camaraderie of a team. This is an important issue when encouraging people to stick to an exercise programme. Research from the University of Saskatchewan shows that people who feel a sense of belonging to a group stick to exercise more successfully and work harder.
In the journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants (2005) it is recommended that people exercise with a partner or group because they are more likely to stay on track. Exercisers are encouraged to involve family members or friends.
If you are struggling to keep active why not join a team sport? Enjoy that camaraderie.