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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

The Power of Numbers: Group Fitness

Oct 31, 2016 02:38PM
When going to the doctor for a yearly checkup, being told to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day is pretty standard advice. When told to do so, the image of endless rows of treadmills at the gym often comes to mind. However, taking fitness from a personal requirement to a group interest proves extreme benefits.

Group fitness, whether it be attending a class at a local gym, running an organized 5k with some friends or anything in between, makes it much more difficult to back out or come up with excuses. A 2012 Indiana University study revealed that married couples who went to the gym separately had a 43 percent drop out rate in one year, while those who went together averaged a mere 6.3 percent.

More than the accountability factor, when working out in a group setting, it is not unnatural to push oneself harder than when alone, in an often-subconscious attempt to outshine others. When running next to a friend, it’s difficult not to compare speeds, leading to an overall increase in speed of both people in the long run.

Additionally, attending community events and classes provides diversity in one’s workouts that may not be achievable after getting stuck in the same old routine of going to the gym every day.

Above all else, exercising with other people, strangers and friends alike, provides the chance to be social and connect with others on a level that is becoming increasingly rare today. With technology dependence higher than ever before, putting down the iPhone and sharing a fun workout with others who have similar goals is a benefit that cannot be measured.

Rachel Feidelman is a junior at the University of Maryland, studying journalism and economics.

 

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