With the Covid-19 pandemic, many groups of friends who got together to practice exercises had to start doing physical activities alone. Without company, many gave up and left gymnastics for good.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba, Canada, say that exercising in a group brings several benefits: in addition to encouraging you to continue with the activity, it increases satisfaction with life, confidence, and makes it easier to evolve in practice.
However, scientists believe that without creating an identity within the group, team exercise can make individual activity difficult. According to Canadians, if the individual does not see himself as an athlete, or a person who exercises, it is more difficult to maintain the practice when he needs to be alone.
“We asked participants how they would react if the group was not available. People who identified strongly with the group were less confident in their ability to exercise alone, and thought it would be difficult to do the activity without company”, explains professor Shaelyn Strachan, one of those responsible for the survey.
According to Strachan, who wrote an article for the popular science website The Conversation, people who become too dependent on the group don’t have enough will to continue on their own. Therefore, it is essential to create a self-image of a “person who exercises” – the commitment must be with the activity and not with the group.
“Some people who think like that and were part of the study told us that losing the group during the pandemic was seen as another challenge to overcome, and they focused on opportunities to exercise without having to worry about the rest of the class”, says the researcher. .
The scientist’s tip for creating this mindset is to stop to define what it means for everyone to be an “exercise individual”. Another possibility is to create different goals for the group and for yourself – for example, going for a run for three days with friends would be the collective goal, and surpassing your own speed record, the individual one.
“In general, if you want to strengthen your exercise routine but remain flexible when you encounter challenges, having a sense of ‘we’ is great, but don’t lose sight of it,” writes Strachan.