Dubbed the “social facilitation effect” by psychologist Norman Triplett in 1898, when we exercise with others, group energy tangibly boosts endurance and stamina.
More recently, Triplett’s findings were reinforced by researchers in Australia and New Zealand. Participants walking in a group covered longer distances with a faster pace than when they walked alone.
“The distance covered increased significantly from a mean of 653 meters [individually] to 735 meters [in a group].”
Plus, having others notice and acknowledge your triumphs is amazing. They can view your progress more objectively. When someone else points out your progress, you get a boost of self-esteem and confidence, and you’re more likely to continue moving forward.
–Jacquelyn Brennan on MyFitnessPal
More Support, Accountability, & Togetherness
Peer pressure is a powerful force. When used for good, it keeps us motivated and dedicated to our fitness goals.
University of Saskatchewan professor Kevin Spink, The Globe and Mail reports, “found those who feel a greater sense of ‘groupness’ and cohesion within an exercise class are more punctual, have better attendance, and even work harder.”
Human beings are social creatures. Nothing brings people closer quite like misery and physical suffering. If you’ve ever done a boot camp or similar class, you definitely understand.
–Joe Decker of Gut Check Fitness on Active.com
Our Bodies Produce More Endorphins
The group effect also creates a measurable endorphin increase.
Researchers from Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology found that rowers were more impervious to pain when practicing together, rather than autonomously.
In the BBC report, “exercising together appeared to increase the level of the feel-good endorphin hormones naturally released during physical exertion.”
The athletes could row faster and farther, while experiencing less pain and fatigue. All thanks to their teammates.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
This list is all pros and no cons! For a quick endorphin blast, grab some friends for a neighborhood jog, or stop putting off that 5 o’clock spin class.
Need some inspiration? Check out our round-up of top group fitness classes of 2014.
Both your mind and body will thank you.
Source: Group workout image