Should You Exercise in a Group or Go Solo?
I knew going in that this blog post would be challenging to write. After all, there are arguments for the pros and cons of working out in a group and also exercising on your own.
My preference? Group. I’ve always found the social atmosphere of fitness classes to be a good motivator. (OK, plus I’m a tad competitive.) But I’m also aware that the idea of sweating it out in a jam-packed class is the opposite of motivating for some people.
Let’s look at a few major pros for exercising in a group and also pros for exercising on your own.
Exercising in a Group
Pro: Accountability. The moment you sign up for a yoga class or pay for a running clinic, you’re accountable to show up. And that’s good for both motivation and for getting results. Score one for training in a group!
Pro: Social support, camaraderie and safety in numbers. When you exercise in a group, people get to know you. They cheer you on. They learn your name. There’s team spirit. And there’s safety in numbers if you’re going on a run, especially after dark.
What I like best about exercising in a group is that you feel like part of something interesting and exciting. Perfect example: Lolë White Tour.
Pro: Competition. If you’re a Type-A personality when it comes to exercise, you might find this a pro (otherwise it could be a huge con). A group atmosphere allows you to push yourself more than if you were exercising alone because you’re driven by that competitive edge (even if other people in the group aren’t aware that you’re competing with them).
Exercising By Yourself
Pro: Inner peace and concentration. When I do yoga at home by myself, I’m able to focus inward a little bit better. I try in a group, but I’ll admit to sometimes being distracted, admiring my neighbour’s nail-polish during a lying twist or wondering if anyone just heard my stomach growl.
Pro: Creativity. I get some of my best ideas for new work projects during my daily dog walks. A friend of mine tells me her remedy for devising solutions to a challenging problem is with a long run.
Pro: Low stress. Working out in a group usually means having to meet somewhere and look presentable (of course, that’s not at all hard to do with a Lolë outfit on).
Exercising alone is often less fuss – you either do it at home (perhaps in your softest, most comfy Lolë tee) or you map an outdoor route that’s most convenient for you.
Bottom line, go for workouts that help you stay motivated, reach the results you want and, above all, put a smile on your face. Ideally, this might be a mixture of both group and solo exercise.