It’s more fun to do things with friends, and that includes our exercises. As fitness activities become more social, even the dynamics of personal training are evolving. Today, it’s seen as an opportunity to build social connections with people that have the expertise to help us achieve our fitness goals.
The value of the U.K.’s fitness market soared to an all-time high this past summer as people headed back to the gym. Over the past few years, the more cosmopolitan areas of Europe’s major cities have played host to a growing number of high-tech gyms and boutique fitness spas. That has fitness-minded citizens flocking to places like the Canary Wharf and downtown London to take advantage of the latest innovations in modern fitness, and they’re bringing their friends with them.
Exercise and fitness activities have become the modern means of socializing and building relationships. And why not? More and more studies are showing that we’re simply happier when we exercise with friends, whether it be hiking or lifting weights. As more people see fitness as a new way of building their social networks, it’s also casting personal trainers in an entirely new light. Personal trainers are rapidly losing that “drill instructor” stigma and are increasingly being seen as a new connection that people want to include in their social networks.
In our post-pandemic society, two things reign supreme: having a strong social network that we can rely on for support and getting enough physical exercise to stay fit. Almost by way of necessity, we’ve slowly intermingled the two, and we’re discovering that it can be a heck of a lot of fun.
But losing weight and building stronger personal relationships are only a few of the benefits to be gained from engaging in social fitness.
Why Social Exercise Offers More Benefits
As it stands, a quarter of the planet’s adult population isn’t getting enough exercise. Either people don’t have enough time or can’t find the motivation. But as more people combine exercise with their social activities, they’re discovering that the benefits are well worth the effort.
First, there are swaths of emotional and mental health advantages associated with making fitness a social activity. For example, we’ve long known that social isolation can have a negative impact on our mental health. Studies have been done to compare individual (or solo) workouts with those that are done in a group environment. While the results showed that those who preferred to workout individually did see an improvement in their mental health, those who worked out in a group setting saw their mental health improve significantly more.
Social fitness activities also offer a communal sense of belonging (a.k.a., bonding), which can go a long way towards building better self-esteem. Group exercise environments are often supportive, motivating, and upbeat. Not only will those who engage in social fitness activities develop a greater level of self-confidence, but these group settings are often an environment where words of support and motivation are exchanged amongst members of the group. This is especially true when personal trainers or fitness coaches are leading the charge. And that brings us to one of the greatest advantages that social fitness environments offer over individual workout settings.
Motivation is a huge factor in mustering up the required energy to get our exercises completed, and it’s a vital component of our long-term fitness strategy. Staying motivated when you’re working out on your own is simply much more challenging than if you’re working out with a fitness coach or in a group setting.
The fact is that when we exercise in a group environment, the dynamics of that group can offer a level of motivation that can be very powerful. And it’s not just you that benefits from the supportive environment of social fitness. Your participation and effort in these social settings can act as a catalyst where one member feeds off the energy of the other participants. It’s a group dynamic where everyone inspires one another, and that effect can be amplified significantly when personal trainers are present to lead the group in their efforts.
Personal Training Takes on a New Meaning
As society embraces social fitness as an effective way of building stronger relationships, the demand for personal trainers that offer one-on-one and group training sessions is trending upward. This is especially true for personal trainers that offer their services to smaller groups. Many people are willing to try a fitness class for the first time if a friend joins them, and these classes are often far less costly than one-on-one training sessions.
And we can’t forget the power of social media. As it seems to in every industry, social media is playing a huge role in today’s personal training industry, and we’re talking about more than “virtual” training sessions. To connect with their target audiences, many personal trainers are engaging with clients (and prospects) using social media sites like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. It’s an environment where personal trainers can expand their audience (and influence) by providing fitness expertise. Over time, these personal trainers are building long term relationships with the people they interact with online.
Ultimately, personal trainers are being adopted into social circles because online communities feel that they can be trusted for the sound advice and expertise they offer. After all, trust is a huge catalyst in any new relationship. In fact, forward-thinking personal trainers are often quite adept at using social media to build communities of fitness-minded fans who share the same values. As social fitness becomes more widely embraced, personal trainers are expected to continue bringing their clients together where they can feed upon each other’s energy in the pursuit of their own fitness goals.
The truth is that shared experiences often tend to bring people closer together, and that’s fueling our interest in social fitness today. If you’re interested in working with a personal trainer for the first time, a simple search of “PT near me” will lead you to a few new connections or “fitness influencers” that you can follow.
Fitness is rapidly becoming society’s next big bonding experience. Why not join?