Is it better to exercise in a group or by myself?

For individuals who like to exercise, there is always an opportunity to do so, no matter how busy one’s schedule may be. This is because a conscious decision has been made to include exercise as an integral part of daily routine. Then there is the decision of what type of exercise to partake in. This choice depends on how your body physically reacts to different types of exercise. One person’s knees may be able to withstand running whereas another’s will not. Individual preferences for physical activity will determine whether the chosen exercise is slow, rhythmic movement, or fast paced exercise that makes you sweat and raises the heart rate. Ultimately, we want to try to vary the types of exercise we do in our weekly routine, whilst enjoying ourselves.

Another choice for individuals who like to exercise is whether they exercise alone, or with others. Sometimes you have to weigh up whether to get a quick walk or run in before dinner, or wait until later in the evening to walk in the company of a friend or partner. At the gym you could choose to workout solo, or join an exercise class so you can work out in a group setting. All exercise and movement is beneficial but there are a few key elements to group exercise that may encourage you to exercise with a friend or in a group setting.

Photo by Jonathan Colon

Firstly, according to Spink and Carron’s1 research, you are more likely to consistently come to classes and perform the exercises in the correct way in a group setting. The psychological benefits of exercising in a social setting are plentiful, whether it is the thrill of friendly competition, the positive effects of seeing other people outside of a work or home environment, reduction of stress2, or even the comradery around the difficulties in finding time and self-discipline to exercising. Many times, in a group setting, we may reassure ourselves that if ‘so and so’ can come to exercise class every week, then so can I!

Physio-led group exercise is our choice at InnerStrength of Bayside. We aim to provide a positive space, where you can exercise at your own pace, according to your needs and under the guidance of an experienced Physiotherapist. We recommend attending two group physio classes per week and adding cardiorespiratory exercises to your routine 3-4 times a week. This could be as simple as a 30-minute brisk walk with your dog or a friend with two legs.

Call us now on 8555 4099 or book a Physiotherapy Assessment online via this link and we can help you achieve your goals.


  1. Spink, K. S., & Carron, A. V. (1994). Group Cohesion Effects in Exercise Classes. Small Group Research, 25(1), 26–42. Retrieved from:
  2. UPI. (2017). Group exercise more effective than individual workouts, study says. Retrieved from:


Written by Beth Sackville (Physiotherapist)