Physical activity is beneficial for overall physical and mental health. People do a myriad of different exercises for various reasons.
The question for some remains what is the correct exercise to do? The goal must be kept in mind whilst trying to find what would be a good fit. Are you looking for a place to find friends and enjoy your workout in a lighter environment, or are you looking for a more structured approach? These two broader categories of solo Vs group sports could help identify what better fits an individual.
Pros and cons of both group and solo sessions :
Groups sessions –
Group workouts can be motivating since you meet people with whom you can share common interests. Furthermore, It is no secret that with a lacking drive, a gym buddy or two can help you get through the workout.
If group sessions are with an instructor, they too can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. Gaining feedback from instructors and other attendees alike can give you a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Another advantage is that it can be very different in structure and content. This is a benefit of attending classes, as there is little effort in terms of preparing the workout schedule.
Solo sessions –
Some tend to prefer working out by themselves. For example, going for a run in the crisp morning air may help some to stay focused and motivated in a way that waiting for a buddy to run together would not. This, of course, does not just apply to running, but also to weightlifting and other conditioning exercises
I associate solo workouts more with a meditative and ultra-focused mindset. Whereas with group exercises, there is more of a ritual and a social aspect to the sessions.
Further questions to consider are whether you enjoy solo competitive sports or team sports. One can use this as a guide to what you should look for – whether it is to join a football club or else a boxing gym.
This would also be reflecting one’s character and other preferences. What we like and don’t like could also be an invitation for further awareness of our character. Am I completely against certain sports, or would I reconsider them later, when I might be more adept and stronger?
I am a firm believer in enjoying your workouts and not wasting time on things that you do not enjoy just because ‘it is good for you’. Unless prescribed by a physician for a specific reason, chances are that you can find something that works for you and has similar effects.
That said, I am also a firm believer in challenging oneself. Thus, I would recommend trying something once or twice for further exploration of the self and body. Therefore, if you are feeling brave, not only would you have challenged yourself, but you would have gone a step further into learning what works and doesn’t work for you!
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Jessica Saliba Thorne is a Gestalt psychotherapist. She has experience within the mental health field and sees adults with mental health difficulties, relationship issues and trauma at Willingness.