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4 ways group exercise reduces loneliness 

mental health May 09, 2022

This week marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, Hosted by The Mental Health Foundation and the theme is on Loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling of emptiness. A human emotion that is often felt when an individual's need for social companiships and relationships are disconnected and unfulfilled. The charity, Mind, explains it like this, “One common description of loneliness is the feeling we get when our need for rewarding social contact and relationships is not met.” 

 

Many people feel lonely or experience the feeling of loneliness at some point in their life, and  there are several contributing factors as to why. Some of the causes of loneliness include moving to a new location, going through a breakup or divorce, starting a new school or job, losing a loved one or internal traits such as having low self-esteem. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic also exacerbated that feeling of loneliness for millions of people worldwide. But the one activity which we saw bring people together and which help to reduce loneliness, was group exercise. During the pandemic, group exercise helped to increase inclusion and boost social interactions. And even though it was done through a screen and using devices, people still felt like they were part of something. This is why the work we do at the Fitness Blastoff is very important. Throughout the pandemic, our online events and classes made it possible to continue to increase that feeling of community and connection. 

 

According to EMDUK, loneliness can be severely life-altering – and even life-threatening – for those who experience it. Linked with psychological problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and depression, loneliness can be quite literally devastating. There is also much evidence to suggest that loneliness causes biological problems as well as psychological ones, and can even lead to death.

 

This is why it's important to find strategies to help reduce that feeling of loneliness. And one of the ways to do that is by attending group exercises classes and events. 

 

How can group exercise classes reduce loneliness?

 

Group exercise is great for keeping fit, losing weight and burning calories. However, one of the other amazing benefits of group exercise is the feeling of connection you get through being with others. The feeling of fun, socialising and enjoyment. Everything about the atmosphere is fuel for the mind, body and soul including the music, moves and the motivation you receive from the people around you.

 

Here are some ways group exercise can help to prevent that feeling of loneliness. 

 

It will help you feel part of a community 

When you participate in an activity you enjoy with other like-minded people, it will make you feel part of something exciting. As you develop relationships and friendships with others, it will give you a sense of belonging and enhance that feeling of community. 

 

You'll feel encouraged and supported

Joining a group exercise class will help you feel supported than working out in a solo environment. When you exercise with others in a group setting, you'll feel supported and motivated by the instructors and others within the group who are also on the same journey as you.

 

You'll meet new people

Attending a group exercise class will give you the opportunity to meet new people which could lead to developing quality friendships. So many people have attended previous Fitness Blastoff events alone and have ended up meeting and returning with new friends. It's a great way to get out there, socialise and create new friendships with people who have similar interests to you. 

 

You’ll have fun

The atmosphere from being involved in group exercise is fun. The music, the team spirit, moving your body, the energy from instructors and others around will increase your energy, positivity and confidence - reducing that feeling of loneliness. 

 

Loneliness can have a severe effect on your mental health, so it’s important to recognise the signs and to find ways that will help reduce the feeling. To summarise, group exercise can turn that feeling of loneliness to fulfillment. You’ll meet new people with similar interests, have fun, feel part of a community and feel energised and more positive about yourself and life itself. 

 

If you’re feeling lonely and want to try group exercise, why not try joining an upcoming Fitness Blastoff event?. The atmosphere is fun, friendly and fulfilling. If you’re feeling worried about any aspect of the event and want to ask the team a question, then get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]