Social Interactions vs Working Out Alone

August 31, 2016
By: Mark Kalladeen, Fitness Center Trainer

Last week an article was brought to my attention that could relate to all that we do here at The Connection.  There is research suggesting being in a social environment and concurrent exercising are two key factors to keeping your mind sharp and at peace. Ichiro Kawachi, a professor out of Harvard did a study to show that socializing and working out with other people is far better than being isolated and working out by yourself.  The study included 11,000 adults over the age of 64 and divided them into four groups. The four groups were those who 1) went to sports clubs to work out, 2) socialized at sports clubs but did not exercise,   3) worked out at home, and 4) those who stayed home and did not exercise at all.  What was discovered four years later was that those who exercised regularly showed the least decline in physical health and cognitive ability.  However, what was surprising was those who went just for the social aspect fared just as well as the first group and even better than those who worked out at home by themselves.

So, why not combine the two: working out and being social at a health/exercise facility, for the ultimate benefit?  Professor Kawachi emphasizes that losing social connections as well as lack of exercise can take a heavy hit on an individual’s cognition.  The Connection provides a social and active environment throughout our entire facility.  Our group exercise classes such as Tai Chi, Zumba, Yoga, and TRX classes offer members opportunities to be social with their peers while still getting a great workout in. The mind stays focused on a task, and we build social relationships that will benefit us in the long run. While working out with other people, you can also learn from one another to become better performers in the class or workout that you are participating in together.

In addition to the Group Fitness classes, there are many classes in the Dance and Aquatics departments as well as an open floor in the Fitness Center that allow you and other members to socialize and exercise among one another. So for those of you who come to the Connection to work out or to meet other people, try both. In the long run, it appears that the benefits in both your cognitive and physical health will soar through the roof!

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