#GotMySix: Strength in numbers-Group exercise edition

There’s strength in numbers, whether you’re hauling lines on a ship, or trying to stay fit. Working out with a group can keep you accountable and help build unit morale and camaraderie. Whether you’re hoping to drop a little weight, get toned, prepare for your PT test, or just be active, taking part in group exercise can help you meet your fitness goals.

Why exercise with a group?

People who interact and exercise with leaner and more fit individuals (compared to others who are overweight) tend to lose more weight. And members of exercise groups who also engage in social support activities are more likely to stick to the exercise program and maintain weight loss over a few months than those who just work out without social support.

If you already have a fitness battle buddy, now’s a good time to get a couple more people to build a squad for group workouts. Like your fitness battle buddy, exercise groups help keep you accountable, active, and invested in staying fit. Group members who are more fit or experienced in the gym can also help you make more progress by pushing you to work harder and providing coaching tips to improve your form.

What kinds of exercise can you do in groups?

There are many ways you can get in on group workouts. Your local MWR might offer group classes such as spin, swimming, yoga, or aerobics. Your unit might run group PT as well. If you’re located somewhere that doesn’t have any MWR-run gym facilities, many local gyms offer military discounts for classes (or your unit might even reimburse gym fees).

Not all group exercise needs to be in the gym. Team-based activities have health benefits and can also help build unit cohesion and improve work performance. See if your unit has sports teams that compete with other units at your station.

Post-workout shout-out

This holiday season, use social media to thank your squad for their support and workout tips using CHAMP’s #GotMySix hashtag.

Resources

Andersson, M. A., & Christakis, N. A. (2016). Desire for weight loss, weight-related social contact, and body mass outcomes. Obesity, 24(7), 1434–1437. doi:10.1002/oby.21512

Brinkley, A., McDermott, H., & Munir, F. (2016). What benefits does team sport hold for the workplace? A systematic review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(2), 136–148. doi:10.1080/02640414.2016.1158852

Rogers, M., Lemstra, M., Bird, Y., Nwankwo, C., & Moraros, J. (2016). Weight-loss intervention adherence and factors promoting adherence: A meta-analysis. Patient Preference and Adherence, Volume 10, 1547–1559. doi:10.2147/ppa.S103649

Plante, T. G. (2010). Effects of perceived fitness level of exercise partner on intensity of exertion. Journal of Social Sciences, 6(1), 50–54. doi:10.3844/jssp.2010.50.54

Wing, R. R., & Jeffery, R. W. (1999). Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. J Consult Clin Psychol, 67(1), 132–138. doi:10.1037//0022-006x.67.1.132