Decades of research show a strong correlation between fulfilling social relationships and physical health and well-being.
High levels of social interaction are associated with lower body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure and inflammation.
Older adults who are more socially active tend to have considerably lower blood pressure than their more isolated peers.
Adolescent health appears to be more sensitive to levels of social interaction than that of other age groups.
Social interaction reduces the risk of mental health issues such as depression.
Getting more social with your exercise is a win-win for health. Ashley Hubley, a personal and group fitness trainer and kinesiologist in Toronto, Ontario, shares her tips below on how to make physical activity more socially engaging.
Get active with friends. Instead of connecting with friends over junk food at a restaurant or bar, do something active and fun, such as playing sports or going for a walk.
Have an accountability partner. Staying committed to working out regularly can be difficult to do alone. Working out with a buddy helps keep you both accountable and makes it possible for you to reach your fitness goals more quickly.
Learn something new. Working out in a group helps you learn new fitness techniques, tips, and tricks that you might not have learned on your own. You can benefit from the experiences of those around you.
Stay motivated. Exercising with a group can motivate you along your fitness journey as you observe the positive results of your group members.
Have fun! Getting physically fit is a lot more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by other people – friends, family or colleagues. Activities can range from starting a running or walking group to playing sports outside – it’s all about having fun!
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily imply endorsement by Manulife.