The Scientific Reason Why Group Exercise Is Waaaay Better for You
That Zumba-lates class never looked so good.
If you’re a guy playing in on a beer league hockey team, you’re probably gonna stay fit a lot longer than your average dude that just shoots pucks into his basement washing machine on occasion. This isn’t an oddly specific musing, it’s a fact; men who play sports are way more likely to stay fit in perpetuity as opposed to people than me who do not.
In a similar spirit, new research published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association seems to back up the concept that working out with a group is way better for you than working out on your lonesome. The small study was completed at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and tracked the activity of 69 participants, all in either their first or second year of medical school.
The participants were split into three groups: one would take part in at least one 30-minute core training class each week in a group, one would exercise either alone or with one or two other people at least twice each week as part of a “health enhancement group,” and the third would only take part in physical activity as it related to transportation (biking or walking). Participants were allowed to choose which group they end up in; 25 selected the fitness class group, 29 selected the health enhancement group, and 15 opted for the inactive control group. (By the way, this is about how many calories you’re burning in your fitness class.)
Every four weeks, each participant was asked to fill out a survey about their stress levels. Interspersed in between these examinations were periodic surveys about their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. By the end of the 12-week study, the participants in the fitness class group saw the only notable improvements in all categories measured.
The brevity and small sample size of the study should be noted, but the improvements from the baseline were large enough to point to a notable link. So, go on ahead and sign yourself up for class—we suggest this power napping class.