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Why Working Out in Public or in a Group Is Beneficial

Studies suggest that working out in a crowd is more beneficial than exercising alone. One study found weight loss programs have a 95% success rate when participants complete the program with a friend or team member.


Many people are reluctant to exercise in public because they are self-conscious about their size and ability. Working out in solitude, however, often means you have no one to hold you accountable. According to some reports, the average American spends over $1,800 per year on health and fitness, including equipment that sits in a basement collecting dust.


Physical fitness is a personal journey, but it requires accountability and motivation. Working out in public and in a group provides many benefits, especially if you are not a self-starter.


Surround Yourself With Health-Conscious People


How often have you tried to start an exercise routine or diet alone and failed? According to one report, 95% of all dieters regained some or all of their lost weight. Another study noted that only 20% of people maintain weight loss for at least one year.


Surrounding yourself with health-conscious people can change your results. Research suggests people adopt the actions of those around them, including healthy habits. A study in the Journal of Social Sciences found people mimic the exercise behaviors of those around them. Also, the Journal of Obesity published a study suggesting that overweight people lose weight when spending time with healthier friends.


You can trigger psychological responses by working out in public and in a group or communal setting. Those responses can motivate healthier actions.


Commit To Crowds for a More Enjoyable and Effective Exercise Routine


Healthcare professionals believe working out in a crowd can bolster exercise habits in several ways. The most prevalent changes include:

  • Consistency

  • Duration

  • Inspiration

  • Motivation

Working out with a group or with friends increases enjoyment. Also, signing up to exercise classes with friends can provide healthy pressure and motivation. While a friend or classmate might not think much about one missed session, multiple missed classes or tardies will become apparent.


Since most people cater to public perception and care how others see them, class and group workouts can create greater commitment. The increased commitment stems from feelings of accountability and social pressure.


Social pressure is also good for motivation. Exercising in a group session harnesses the power of the Köhler Effect — the principle that no person wants to be the weakest individual in a group. Public workouts encourage people to push harder than they might in private.


Acknowledge the Need for Companionship


While people like to say they are independent, most rely on others. Friendships, acquaintances, colleagues, etc., all help motivate you throughout your day. The same is true for exercise.


According to the Mayo Clinic, friends offer necessary companionship and prevent loneliness and isolation. Being a part of a group increases your sense of purpose and belonging, ultimately reducing stress and boosting happiness.


Several studies suggest that happiness and a sense of camaraderie contribute to better sleep, stronger immunity, and healthier weight and fitness levels.


Working out alone is not as effective as working out in a group. Groups encourage commitment, strengthen motivation, and provide necessary encouragement. If you have difficulty sticking to your exercise goals, consider joining a local aerobic or weight-training class.

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