Do you work out in a group or prefer to exercise alone?
Depending on what you personally prefer, you might veer towards group classes at the gym or meet a bunch of friends after work to get a run in. Or you may prefer to ride solo and do a home-based workout at night or wake up early to exercise on your own. But how we chose to work out shouldn’t matter since the end goal is still the same, right?
Well, not quite.
A study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association proves otherwise. Dr Dayna Yorks led a team of researchers at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine to find out the effects that group and individual workouts have on people. The results of the study revealed that exercising with a group of people is more rewarding than exercising alone.
For the study, the researchers recruited 69 medical students who were reported to have high-stress levels and a low quality of life. The researchers allowed the subjects to choose either a twelve-week group or individual workout programme. There was also a control group that abstained from any form of workout.
Every four weeks, all the participants completed a survey that recorded their current stress level and quality of life. More specifically, it examined their mental, physical and emotional quality of life.
The group of people who participated in group workouts, particularly CXWORX, a core strengthening and functional fitness training class, had significant improvements in their quality of life. They enjoyed the following improvements – a 12.6 per cent increase in their mental health, 24.8 per cent increase in their physical quality of life as well as a 26 per cent improvement in their emotional well-being. Their stress levels also reduced by 26.2 per cent.
The participants who embarked on individual fitness programmes opted for activities like running and weightlifting. These solitary exercisers reaped only an 11 per cent increase in their mental wellbeing but did not gain any improvements in their other qualities of life. Similarly, the control group had no significant changes in their stress levels or quality of life.
This study confirms that working out in a group lowers your stress levels while significantly improving your quality of life. So grab a few buddies or colleagues and plan your next workout to maintain exceptional mental, physical and emotional health benefits.