Just as people are uniquely and wonderfully created, their approaches to working out are equally diverse. Maybe you’re in a season of life where you are craving some alone time—time simply set aside for you to be alone with your thoughts, to clear your head, and to re-connect with your mind and body. Or maybe you’re in a season of life where you are needing some human interaction. There are times and seasons for both, but there are three reasons why working out in a group setting can be beneficial for you.
- Connection—We were designed to be in community. In Genesis 1:26a, it says: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” God Himself is a triune god—made up of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—and we were created in His image and likeness. So we were designed to live in community with others. Did you know that one study found that the lack of social connection is a greater detriment to one’s health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure? (House, Landis & Umberson, Science 29 Jul 1988). Working out in a group allows us to be part of a community of individuals which not only benefits our physical health but our mental health as well by adding a sense of joy to the workout. Joy? Yes, joy. Together we can laugh, we can complain, we can tease, and we can gripe because we’re all in it together.
- Accountability—When we know that someone will be waiting for us to show up, it’s much more difficult to come up with good excuses as to why we can’t. And don’t we all need a little accountability? Sure, some individuals are pretty self-motivated, but we all have had those days where we just don’t feel like it. But when we know that someone cares whether or not we show up, we do.
- Motivation—Seeing others working out and putting in some hard work motivates us to think that we can do it too. When we hear the success stories of other individuals, we think “Hey! That could be me.” When we hear the encouraging words of a trainer or workout buddy, we are inclined to push ourselves a little harder than we would on our own. Remember, “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Prov. 27:17)
So, whether you’ve been in a season of working out solo or you are looking to begin working out, give working out in a group setting a try. You might find that along with the accountability and motivation, you might find a new friend or two.