Your Happiness Factor

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Healthy Living: Reasons to Get Fit in Groups

Healthy Living: Reasons to Get Fit in Groups

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore.

As the majority of us already know, it is much easier to break a promise that you have made to yourself than it is to break a promise that you have made to somebody else.

 For many the thought of letting someone down is often worse than keeping a promise that you regret making. This is a good approach to have when it comes to exercising, as the thought of disappointing a friend can often be worse than the thought of that 7am run that you scheduled together. If you have made a promise to a friend then you will be more inclined to drag yourself out of bed and put on your running shoes than you would be if you were simply going for a run alone.

When you are exercising alone it is easy to cut your workouts short by a couple of reps as soon as your arms or legs start burning. Nobody except you will know if you only run 3 miles instead of the 5 you originally told yourself you would complete when you set off. Working out in groups means that you simply cannot do this and you have to complete your workout; this is a good reason to engage in group activities or exercise classes. Nobody wants to go to an exercise class and leave halfway through, it’s embarrassing and quite frankly, it is rude. You feel obliged to stay until the end, whereas you could quite easily set out to do 40 minutes on a rowing machine and 20 minutes later decide that you have done enough exercise for one day.

A benefit of exercising with others is that you can encourage and motivate each other, having a good support system is crucial when it comes to succeeding in all aspects of life, particularly something as life changing as weight loss. You will be able to celebrate each other’s successes and really begin to feel good about yourself, which will in turn send your confidence levels and self esteem soaring.

This is the same when it comes to diet; if you are dieting with a group then you will be less likely to eat that extra portion because your competitive streak will come out and you will not want to be the one who has lost the least amount of weight. This accounts for the success of communal dieting groups such as slimming world; if you had to undertake a weekly weigh in, in front of a group of people then you will want to do well so you do not have to suffer the embarrassment of having gained a couple of pounds.

You are more likely to push yourself and break boundaries if you turn exercise into a contest. Although a bit of friendly competition so you can be quietly smug about your success is okay, the only person that you are really competing with is yourself; you are creating a better version of you.

Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs