Many people find exercising in a group setting to be more enjoyable. So should you start or join a group to go walking with?
Why is a walking group a good thing?
If you have a social personality you likely will enjoy having a group to chat and people who you can share your love of walking. It also is a way to have a scheduled walking time and people who expect you to show up. That expectation is a good motivator for certain people and will give you one less excuse not to go on your walk.
Socialization is also great for your mental health. We all have different levels of socializing we like or even tolerate, but the vast majority of people do like hanging out with other people. Our species is one that naturally depended on each other for survival. It’s ingrained in our systems.
Is there proof walking in a group helps mental health?
There have actual been dozens of studies on group exercise and how it affects your mental well-being. From these studies and simply opinions of people who have participated in group exercise, especially walking we have recorded the following improvements people have shown:
• Improved memory
• Enhanced concentration
• Reduction of loneliness
• Decreasing anxiety and stress
• Lowers severity or length of depression
• Fewer feelings of social isolation
• Various levels of relieving chronic pain
• Helps with keeping your cognitive health
• Feelings of happiness and contentment
• Appreciation and connection with environment
What if you can’t find a group?
It’s way easier to start a walking group than you may think. You can call it a Start Walking group if your looking for beginners or people coming back to it after an extended break. You could say it’s a Social Walking group if you are more seeking it directly for that aspect. How about a Walking Through Nature group? It could be for walking in parks or lighter nature hikes.
How do you go about starting this walking group? You can do this various ways. Post a bulletin at your job or school. Simply ask friends and acquaintances if they’re interested. If you are already a member of a club or church ask the other members you get along with best. You can also use social apps and various sites to posts what type of group your looking for. Just make sure, no matter how you gather your group together you always do it in a public place if you don’t know your fellow walkers well.
Are there negatives to a walking group?
As great as the benefits can be, there are some drawbacks to a walking group. These may or may not be applicable to you. Only you can know and should judge.
- Members may stop coming or change out often.
- You may be dealing with people with emotional issues that exercise may release.
- Group walking is almost exclusively outside only.
- Some days you just might not want to be social.
- You’re committed to certain times.
- You likely can’t listen to music if people want to talk.
- Walking may be part of your you time.
Are you ready to group up?
So, now you know the positives and possible drawbacks to a walking group. You wouldn’t have to take all of your walks in a group, of course. Think it over and decide if it’s something you’d like to try or that might benefit you.
Can’t wait to see you strolling along,