Friends as Benefits – Exercise Better If Done with Friends

Tai chi is, generally, considered to be a solo activity.  You practise daily, on your own, to allow you to fully concentrate and relax without distraction.  But, what if you are missing out?


I’ve done some digging this week into how good group exercise is for us.  We teach our tai chi in weekly classes.   This allows students to learn together, to make new friends and relax more.  You don’t feel so ‘alone’ learning with others.  There are a lot of other benefits I didn’t know about too!


Virgin Active reckons that people who train with a friend tend to train for longer, harder and more often.  They are more dedicated as they don’t want to let their friend down.  They also support and challenge each other too.


Exercising In Groups Boosts Happiness 


Exercising in groups also boosts happiness, according to research by Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology .  More endorphins, the feel good hormones, are released during group exercise too, compared with exercising alone.  


“we know from experience that exercising in groups is good for people at many levels, it’s motivational, it’s social. Groups sessions really do work.”   Carole Seheult, British Psychological Society.

Let Your Teacher Take The Strain


The American College of Sports Science also recommends group exercise.   As well as it being social, group activities also take us back to our childhood days when we used to play more often with friends.  We had more time, almost no responsibilities and most perceive those times to be happier and carefree.


We can still maintain that sense of enjoyment and lack of responsibility by allowing the group leader to take the strain and set the exercise routines and schedules.  You just turn up and enjoy.  You don’t have to worry about being bored either – the main reason solo exercisers give up – because the group leader is responsibility for entertain you too.  Their job is to ensure that new material, new routines and exercises are added to keep challenging you and motivating you too.


Learning Tai Chi In A Group Is A Motivator


 Group responsibility is also a good motivator to ensure you don’t miss any exercise sessions.  This is because individuals feel they have to justify their absence from class to their colleagues, they don’t want to let them down or hold them back.  It also means they will have to work harder at the next session in order to keep up.  


Groups exercise also allows and sense of personal escapism from the rest of life.  In the group you all have a common purpose and support for each other tends to be high.  This sense of focus allows the conscious mind to switch off from everyday worries and activities and to concentrate of the group and its goals instead.  


There are many classes out there catering to a wide variety of requirements.  Many, like our tai chi class, offer the mix of both classes and individual study.   You go to class to learn new exercises and moves, to perfect those under the eye of a properly trained instructor, before you go home to practise.  This gives you the fun and social interaction of a class along with the peace and concentration of home practise too.  And let not forget all of the benefits of regular exercise too!


Why not come and join us?  Don’t waste another day when you can be benefitting from a stress free mind, robust good health  and in great company too!