Verdict: Research Proves Group Workouts Are Way More Effective Than Exercising Solo

Skip the run, join a class instead.

taryn toomey group workout class
Image via @theclassbytt/Instagram

For those times when you’re really feeling the stresses of work, relationship, and hey, just everyday life, a group workout may be the answer.

And if you tend to be the solo fitness star, hitting up the free weight and treadmill sections of the gym and doing your own workout circuit, let this new study be a good reminder for why you should sometimes opt for a group class.

According to a study from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, people who choose workout classes over solo sessions tend to be less stressed and report an overall higher quality of life.

@soulannex classes are now available to book through our app! Let’s move

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To prove their theory that workout classes had a higher effect on mental health than other forms of workouts, researchers split their study participants (all were extra-stressed medical school students) into three groups: those who would take one group class per week, those who would work out once a week but alone or with one or two friends, and those who didn’t work out at all.

And as you can imagine, the ones who did work out raved about their results over the sedentary group.

Study authors reported that the students who opted for group classes had significantly reduced stress and improved their quality of life, physically, mentally, and emotionally while the solo participants only showed an improvement in their quality of life.

Straight flexing on em some of our #junkies & ((305)) instructors just happy to be there & stretched out! Who’s tried the new #FLX class?

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“The social component of group exercise is therapeutic,” the study authors write. “Furthermore, group exercise classes often use up-tempo music and choreography to make the class more fun and engaging. Bringing together medical students who are all going through similar stresses to work out and have fun may transcend the experience of working out on their own.”

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Researchers were quick to point out that any form of exercise — whether it’s a run by yourself or a SoulCycle session — can bring you benefits. But if you’re looking for that extra addition of a stress-busting workout, it might be a good idea to sign up for that group class you’ve been eyeing. Check out some of our favourites for inspiration or sign up to the BUF Girls Tour for a serious sense of #GRLPWR.