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Emotional and Social Benefits of Physical Activity

social benefits of regular exercise

You know exercise is good for you. You’ve heard it time and time again from doctors, teachers, coaches, friends, television programs, magazines, and more for as long as you can remember.

Of course, moving more helps keep our bodies in tip-top shape, from our muscles to our joints to our heart and lungs. But did you know that regular physical activity plays a significant role in our emotional and social health?

This guide explains everything you need to know about the social benefits of exercise at every stage of your life.

Table of Contents

How Does Physical Activity Benefit Your Social Health?

Whether you get your sweat on with a fitness coach, with a friend or family member, or in a group fitness class, there are several benefits to working out with others. These include:

  • Maintaining proper form
  • A competitive push
  • Staying accountable

When looking for a person or group of people to work out with, ideal qualities include:

  • A positive attitude
  • Similar health and fitness goals
  • Compatible schedules

If regular exercise isn’t a part of your routine, getting started alongside a community of people dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle may be what you need.

That’s what you can expect from In Motion O.C.

From our wide variety of fitness programs to aquatic therapy, In Motion O.C. provides a community of fitness professionals and a community of people committed to putting their health first for you to be a part of.

benefits of regular exercise

Top 5 Emotional and Social Benefits of Regular Exercise

Working out has several benefits. Controlling weight or building muscle may be two benefits that immediately come to mind.

Additional physical benefits of working out regularly include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Increased muscle and bone density
  • Lowered risk for several chronic health conditions, such as:
    • Stroke
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • High blood pressure
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Many types of cancer
    • Arthritis

But maybe you haven’t thought about what else moving regularly can do to positively impact your life.

Let’s focus on the emotional and social benefits of physical activity. From neighborhood walks to yoga classes to strength training, working out helps you with:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Increasing energy levels
  3. Boosting your mood
  4. Discipline and accountability
  5. Improved cognitive function.

social benefits of physical activity

#1: Builds Relationships

Whether in person or virtually, working out with friends, a personal trainer, or in a class is a great way to build relationships with others.

Maybe you’ve moved to a new city, joining a gym or attending a regular workout class is a great way to meet people. After all, you’ll know you already share an interest. Workout classes and camaraderie often go hand-in-hand.

Or, maybe work and life has been extra busy, leaving little quality time to spend with a good friend or significant other.

Carving out an hour a few times each week for a walk, run, or bike ride with that person allows you time for uninterrupted conversation and an opportunity to get moving.

#2: Increased Energy

Do you find you’re worn out after running around after your toddler or winded after taking the stairs? You may think an afternoon nap or a jolt of caffeine may help with that exhaustion, but a better bet may be adding regular exercise into your daily routine.

Physical activity helps build our muscles and increases our endurance when it comes to completing everyday tasks.

On top of that, exercise improves heart and lung health, increasing energy levels.

#3: Mood Boosts

You may have friends or family who hit the gym when they’re feeling upset or go for a long run to blow off some steam. There’s a scientific reason for that.

You’ve likely heard of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters.

Physical activity increases endorphin levels, which in turn boosts your mood and decreases depression and anxiety.

If you’re feeling stressed out or down in the dumps, regular exercise may be just what the doctor ordered!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.

social benefits of regular exercise

#4: Discipline

Think about this.

Are you one of those people who say they’re going to work out each morning?

You lay out your workout gear, prep your water bottle, and set your alarm to go off well before the sun rises.

You’ve got the best of intentions, but hours later, when that alarm starts beeping, you start making excuses:

  • I didn’t get enough sleep.” 
  • I’m not feeling well.” 
  • “I’ll hit the gym early tomorrow morning instead.”

If you find you’re making excuses, hitting snooze, and going back to sleep more often than sweating before sunrise, having an accountability partner may be exactly what you need.

After all, you’re less likely to blow off that morning workout if a friend or fitness coach is waiting on you.

Having an accountability partner encourages healthy habits and discipline.

#5: Improved Cognitive Function

You may have heard people complain of “brain fog” or say they’re going to hit the treadmill to “clear their head.”

That’s because there’s a correlation between regular exercise and improved cognitive function.

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise boosts the size of the brain area associated with verbal memory and learning.

What Are the Social Benefits of Exercise By Age Group?

No matter if you’re…

  • Learning Tae Kwon Do as a six-year-old
  • Playing high school soccer 
  • Training for a marathon with your best friend in your 30s, or
  • Strength training with your significant other so you can keep up with your grandkids

…regular exercise provides social benefits at every age.

If you invest in yourself by working out, you can expect positive impacts from increased confidence to lower stress to a group of friends to socialize with and who support your fitness goals.

social benefits of exercise

Social Benefits of Exercise for Children

Physical play isn’t just enjoyable for kids; it’s essential for their wellbeing, both cognitively and socially.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily for children six years and older.

This activity helps kids:

  • Develop social skills
  • Encourages team-building
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Boosts academic performance

Social Benefits of Exercise for Teenagers

The teenage years aren’t easy. Teens deal with changing bodies, increased responsibilities, and a host of social stressors.

Besides managing weight and keeping young adults healthy, exercise helps teens:

  • Manage stress levels
  • Process difficult emotions
  • Build confidence

Whether it’s getting involved in a team sport at school, going on hikes or bike rides with a friend, routine activity needs to be a priority for adolescents.

Social Benefits of Exercise for Adults

As we move into adulthood, exercise remains essential for both our physical and social health. It also becomes more challenging to make regular exercise a priority in this season of life.

After all, as adults, we’re often responsible for more than just ourselves. We may be responsible for:

  • Young children
  • Aging parents
  • Pets
  • A home
  • Managing colleagues and co-workers
  • Managing finances
  • And much more

Despite all of the things that demand our time and energy, making time for regular exercise provides a host of benefits:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Stress relief
  • Increased energy
  • Improved quality of life
  • Longer life expectancy

Social Benefits of Exercise for Elderly Individuals

Regular exercise is vital for older adults.

Not only does it improve overall health and fitness, but increased physical activity also reduces your risk of chronic conditions.

Strength training is a great place to start because muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance that muscle mass.

Regular exercise, specifically strength training and high impact cardio, can also slow the loss of bone density that often comes with age.

In addition to:

  • Preventing disease
  • Preserving muscle mass
  • Increasing bone density

Regular exercise is key to improving mental health and wellbeing. One way to feel happy and confident as we age is by maintaining our physical and psychological independence.

Increased Independence

Getting older comes with its own challenges. It can be downright frustrating when our bodies can’t do the things they were once able to.

At In Motion O.C., our clients want to feel good when they play with their kids or grandkids.

They want to work out in such a way as to maximize their health and wellbeing, not just their biceps. That’s why our fitness coaches focus on functional strength training.

Functional strength training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to:

  • Improve balance
  • Improve agility
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Reduce the risk of falls

Many older adults hope to continue to live in their own homes as long as possible, as opposed to moving to an assisted living center or other care facility.

If maintaining that independence is important to you, now is the time to get moving.

Regular exercise helps seniors stay mobile, increasing their ability to complete everyday tasks and live independently.

Want to Learn More About The Social Benefits of Exercise? Connect With One of In Motion O.C’s Fitness Experts

Do you want to experience the many emotional and social benefits of exercise firsthand?

You can.

Start your journey to better physical, mental, and social health with a free consultation.

In Motion O.C. isn’t just a physical therapy clinic. It isn’t just a gym.

When you become part of the In Motion O.C. family, you’re welcomed into a community of like-minded individuals. When you walk through the doors of this state-of-the-art facility, you’ll know you’re in a place where your health is our #1 priority.

In Motion O.C. is your alternative to large, impersonal gyms.

That’s because, at In Motion O.C., we focus on real relationships with our members. Our team of fitness professionals will get to know your personal goals and help you reach and exceed them.

Whether you’re beginning your fitness journey or you’re a seasoned athlete, when you join the In Motion O.C. family, you’re getting:

  • A top-level fitness coach
  • A workout program co-designed by physical therapists, postural specialists, and fitness coaches
  • Free consultations with physical therapists whenever needed

Make a commitment to your physical, mental, and social wellness with a fitness program and wellness community today. In Motion O.C. will be with you every step of the way.

benefits of regular exercise

In Motion O.C.