There's even more science and research to back the proven healthy MENTAL benefits of working out with your friends!
A new study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association shows that people who participate in group exercise classes like Walk 15, showed "significant" improvement in mental, physical, and emotional health over those who worked out alone.
"The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone," said Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on the study.
It was pretty interesting WHO the study tracked, too. They recruited highly stressed medical students who reported a "low quality of life" on a survey. The researchers asked the group to choose a 12-week workout plan, either group fitness or individual exercise. Another group didn't do any formal exercise for the 12 weeks.
We know that all exercise improves our mental health by releasing feel-good endorphins, the chemical that makes you feel happy, increase self-esteem, and manage anxious feelings.
Could working out in a group boost that even more?
The students checked in every four weeks, and were asked to rate their mental, physical, and emotional stress. After 12 weeks:
The students in the group fitness classes showed dramatic improvements:
The students who worked out by themselves reported no reduction in stress level, and no increase in overall quality of life. They did report an 11% improvement in mental health, however!
Exercise WORKS anyway you do it...but those added benefits from being part of a group are just another reason why we love WALKing TOGETHER!
Walk yourself HAPPY this month!