Social Connection Through Exercise 

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Introduction 

When it comes to exercise, there are endless benefits to physical health and wellbeing. From building muscle strength to regulating blood pressure, exercise can help improve a range of different health markers.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Exercise is a great way to boost mental health through social connection. Sharing physical activity experiences with others can promote confidence, increase motivation, and enhance happiness. Healthy habits go beyond just the physical. 

Why Social Connection Matters?

Humans are social beings – we thrive on social connections. Not only for friendship, but to share information and resources, and to find enjoyment in life. Social connectedness can impact happiness, self-esteem, and confidence. One of the best ways to find social connection is by exercising with other people.

The Benefits Of Exercising With Others

Exercising with friends or new people has many benefits beyond just physical health: 

  • Motivation: Positive feedback is one of the main drivers for motivation. Having others around when exercising can be encouraging, helping to keep motivation levels high. 
  • Commitment: Discipline and accountability isn’t easy to come by, particularly when it comes to exercise. Booking an exercise class or arranging a walk with a friend can help with committing to an exercise regime. 
  • Goals: Sometimes, all that is needed is encouragement at the right time. Having someone around can help push a little harder towards achieving any goals. 
  • Learning: There is always more to learn about exercise. Other people can be a wealth of wisdom, and share better ways to do something or introduce new ideas. 
  • Fun: It’s more fun exercising with a friend, helping to pass time and avoid boredom, which helps stick to healthy habits. 

Ways To Socialise While Exercising 

There are lots of ways to start exercising with other people:

  1. Find a local group exercise class – this could include a yoga class or a high-intensity work out, depending on the desired exercise style 
  2. Start a walking group – these are usually easy to find and require no additional equipment or resources 
  3. Try a new type of exercise – whether a dance class or a stand up paddleboard lesson, it’s never too late to try something new 
  4. Ask a friend – meet up with a friend for a run or ask them to come to a session at the gym
  5. Join a sporting community – whether a local netball team or the lawn bowls club, sporting clubs are welcoming social communities  

As with any new exercise, it’s important to go slow and progress gradually to avoid injuries. A physiotherapist can be an excellent resource to help throughout the process.  

In Summary

Physical activity is more than just the physical, helping to promote personal relationships and enhance social connectedness. There is so much to gain from exercising with a friend or a group. From support and motivation to simply just having fun, social connection through exercise has a wealth of benefits. 

Learn more about the benefits of exercise. Book an appointment with our physiotherapy team at Evoker.