Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Double Your Pleasure With Group Workouts

O.K., maybe pleasure is the wrong word :-D but recent research has shown that exercising in a group can increase your endorphin level and double your pain tolerance compared to going it alone.

A study from the University of Oxford’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology published September 16th in Biology Letters found that Oxford rowers could tolerate twice as much pain exercising as a group than when they trained alone.

Twelve rowers participated in multiple tests. Each one rowed continuously for 45 minutes on a rowing ergometer- a gym machine that simulates rowing and that crews use to train indoors. Rowers exercised alone or in a "virtual boat" (8 rowers using ergometers side by side).

Pain thresholds were measured after each session. Researchers found that the rowers' pain threshold increased during both individual and group training. However, the increase was significantly higher after the group sessions.

If you're looking for a way to make your workouts more productive but "easier", try a fitness bootcamp. The energy and camaraderie can't be beat and group workouts come with built-in accountability and social support, both critical to your success.

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