‘Group activity’ is a phrase that can instil fear in some people, but the additional benefits of group compared to solo exercise can make it something to get excited about.
Sessions that actively encourage communication amongst participants are more friendly- helping build a supportive network you can rely on. This helps with maintaining motivation and commitment levels over time, as well as offering encouragement to keep going all the time.
Studies have found there are benefits unique to being in a group session that include:
- People tend to exercise for longer and try harder when in a group instead of alone- helping achieve your goals sooner
- Opportunity to make new friends- outside of your usual network
- Real sense of togetherness and team spirit formed through a shared experience- making you more motivated to push harder with the encouragement and support from others
- More variety in group classes- as you are led by an experienced professional who can help correct mistakes and understands how to structure an engaging session
- Sense of belonging created in a group- likely to have similar goals and interests
- Held accountable to attend- as you don’t want to let others down
- Able to learn from others- discover new techniques and use team work to help each other improve
Joining a group session could be all you need to kick start your health journey properly for the first time, or after a long break. Judith Anne encountered an injury that stopped her from running but being part of the Couch to 5K group gave her the confidence and support to pick it up again.
“Couch to 5K helped me get back into running after an injury and a long break from running. I had tried to get into outdoor running on my own without any success. The group gave me the confidence and instruction to build up my pace while being surrounded by supportive like-minded people. Without Couch to 5K I think I would have given up. After completing the couch to 5K I am very happy to say my fitness has improved, which has also had a positive effect on my mental well-being. Couch to 5K played a vital role in getting me back into exercise and being active. I have been encouraging others to use couch to 5K to do the same.”
The Active Wellbeing Society offers many group sessions, including Couch to 5K, all for free. From tai chi to zumba, running to knit and natter, there are sessions suitable for all – even those designed for absolute beginners and women’s only classes. To find out what we offer near you please visit: www.theaws.co.uk and get involved!