Being socially connected is important. Not only for our mental and emotional well-being, but for our physical health as well. Loneliness and isolation are strong predictors of early death – even more than being overweight, obese, or inactive. Major life changes, such as illness, trauma, or retirement can affect our feelings of social connection or isolation.
It’s important that we maintain memberships in groups, or join new groups to help support our health and well-being. Being part of a group can help improve feelings of loneliness, depression, and social anxiety.
How Does Social Connectedness Play a Role in Exercise?
When we think about exercising in a group, we tend to only think of the improvements we see in our fitness, shape, and health, but there are so many important mental health benefits to exercising in a group. Group exercise classes are an affordable way to learn valuable new exercise techniques in a safe and supported environment. They’re fun and engaging – you get to socialise with people who also value their health. Time flies when you’re having fun, you’ll be laughing together and maybe bring in some friendly competition.
Group members help each other stay motivated through any challenges and hold each other accountable. Exercising with a group is a great way to commit to consistent exercise, and it can even increase the amount of time you spend exercising.
Social Connectedness and You
If you are a reflection of the people you spend the most time with, why not spice up your fitness routine by spending time with a fun bunch of people who value health, celebrate what their bodies are capable of, and who find joy in movement? You never know, you might make some new friends in the process, and you’ll definitely feel better for it.