What are the social benefits of exercise?

We all know exercise is good for us. It benefits us physically, by strengthening our muscles and improving our health and it also benefits us mentally by improving our mood and boosting our self-esteem, making us all round healthier and happier people. But have you ever thought about the social benefits of exercise and what meeting and interacting with new people can do for us?

People socialising whilst doing exercise

What are the social benefits of exercise?

Self-esteem: Exercise helps to increase your self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment. A boost in self-esteem can help us to interact positively with those around us and to understand how to create positive relationships, leading to better social interactions and healthier relationships between ourselves and others.

Teamwork: Playing a team sport such as netball, cricket or football for example, can help us learn not only how to work in a team, but also how to communicate effectively with those around us. Team sports can boost our confidence in socialising and communicating with others, which in turn, can benefit our social interactions outside of sport too.

Happiness: When we’re working out, our bodies release endorphins. These hormones make us feel happier and reduce our stress and anxiety levels. Because we feel happier, we’re more likely to feel like smiling and getting involved in conversations with others, which can make us a positive presence to be around.

Bonding with others: When we work out in a group sport or activity, it helps us to build a sense of ‘togetherness’ with those who are taking part in the same activity. Working out and moving in sync with others can especially offer social benefits for people who struggle with mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

Improved social life: Exercise is a great way to give our social lives a boost. Whether you take part in a team sport or join a gym or class, you’re bound to build relationships with those you start to see on a regular basis. This means that you can expand your social circle with like-minded people. Exercise can particularly be a good opportunity for elderly people to meet other people and make new friends in an active setting.

Motivation: Whilst some exercises can be done alone, working out with someone else or taking part in a team sport can help boost your motivation and keep you accountable. You may be more likely to actually get out of the house and do your workout if someone else is counting on you too.

For you to get the benefits of exercise, you don’t have to push yourself to the limit or take part in something you don’t enjoy. There are loads of ways you can work out either alone or with other people. So, if you’re thinking of starting up a new activity, here’s some to consider: 

  • Group workout classes 
  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Running
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Rowing

With all the social, psychical and mental benefits exercise gives us, having a regular exercise routine is really important. Whether you’re a hard-core gym goer, a weekend rambler or part of the local 5-a-side, you’ll still get the benefits!