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5 Amazing Social Benefits of Exercise

social benefits exercise Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Reviewed by Nancy Diaz, MSW. Updated on April 27, 2021

Physical activity is often recommended for your own physical and mental health. However, exercise has even been shown to have numerous social benefits as well. Below are a few ways exercise can also influence a healthy social life.

Social Benefits of Exercise

Hormones and Happiness

After a good workout or physical activity, your body releases a hormone called endorphins which lower stress and anxiety. Endorphins make you feel happier. When you feel happier, people enjoy your company and the positivity that you bring to gatherings. Even if you are an introvert, being authentically happy adds good energy to social meetings.

Happy people can contribute to conversations healthily and are more willing to smile. Smiling, though a simple act, has a powerful effect on social health and social interaction.

Enjoying Like-Minded Company

If you enjoy working out, playing a sport, or participating in outdoor exercise, you’ll likely find a group of people that enjoy the same leisure. By being able to exercise together, you are able to find others who have similar interests as you. This also allows you to branch out to other social spheres while bonding during a fun physical activity you share in common. Psychologically, this gives us a sense of belonging that we as people crave.

Exercise can also be a great conversation starter for those that prioritize physical activity in their lives. Learning about new ways to exercise and new classes can also help us meet new people.

Feel A Sense of Togetherness

social benefits of exercise

When working out together in an activity that involves coordinated movements, such as running or dancing, physically moving in sync with one another psychologically allows us to feel a sense of togetherness and bonding. This can be a social benefit to those who struggle with depression and social anxiety.

For those with social anxiety, the physical movement of togetherness along with the endorphin release from exercise may make a more welcoming environment to ease into. Also, getting together without having to constantly verbally socialize may be ideal for those with anxiety.

Learning Teamwork

Another social benefit from exercise is learning teamwork. If one plays a sport, learning how to work in a team and communicate effectively towards a goal can help social interactions outside of your workout. This also includes being a team member of a social group and in a work setting as well.

While playing on a team, this can also allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment as a group and increase your confidence in your ability to socialize profitably.

Increase Self-esteem

social beneftis exercise

Exercise can increase your self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment. Studies have shown that an increase in self-esteem is related to better social interaction and healthier relationships.

With an increase in self-esteem, you are able to interact positively with others and understand how to implement and receive healthy boundaries and create positive relationships.

Exercise is considered a keystone habit. Keystone habits are actions that have a transcendently positive effect on many aspects of one’s life. Studies have shown that exercise affects your body’s health as well as supports a positive life mindset and self-esteem. With a healthy increase, exercise has been shown to have social benefits.

infographic 5 social benefits of exercise
infographic social benefits of exercise

Heart Research UK: Psychological and social benefits of exercise

Helpguide.org: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Armycadets.com: The Physiological and Social Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults

Planetfitness.com: 5 Social Benefits of Exercise That Might Surprise You

Exercise.co.uk: The Social Side of Exercising and the Benefits of Using it

National Institute on Aging: The Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Association for Applied Sportpsychology: Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Truefitness.com: The Mental and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

The BXNG Club.com: Mental Health Impacts from Working Out at the Gym

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