Making friends through exercise

Making friends through exercise

Working out with other people, be it friends, family or even strangers, has multiple benefits. It’s a great way to meet people and socialise, boost your mental health and increase motivation. And most importantly, it’s fun! Studies have even shown that the level of endorphins released when exercising in a group is twice as high as when exercising alone.

While the social benefits of exercise are unquestionable, classes, meet-ups and team sports also offer a great opportunity to meet new people, make friends and get the all-important social interaction we all need. Not only will they provide a common interest for you to bond over, but a shared experience and sense of camaraderie to build on.

Here are a few ways you can use exercise to make new friends:

Try a group class
Whether it’s Zumba, water aerobics, Pilates or HIIT, a group exercise class is the perfect place to meet new people. With so many different group exercise classes available, you’ll be able to find a class you truly enjoy alongside a new group of friends.

Play tennis
Tennis is a very social sport and an excellent way to make and spend time with friends. There are multiple ways tennis can help you meet people and widen your social circle. For example, you could join a league, participate in a group lesson, or play doubles with friends of a friend. The game will provide you with a rapport and connection as you strategize, communicate, develop your teamwork and have fun.

You can get involved in a number of tennis lessons, leagues and fun group classes at David Lloyd Clubs. Find out more here.

Join a running group
Running with other people can be both fun and useful. It can provide encouragement, motivation and a welcome distraction while you exercise. There are plenty of free running clubs, park runs and running events races held throughout the UK. Look online to find your nearest club or event and take the first step.

Play a team sport
Playing any team sport, from netball to five-a-side football, is a good way to meet new people. Inherently social, sports teams will allow you to meet and work together with dozens of new people. As an added bonus, they’ll have you committing to a whole season of regular physical activity and social interaction.

Exercise for charity
Doing exercise for charity such as a 10km run or sponsored football match will mean you meet loads of new people, get some exercise and raise money for a good cause. They can provide excellent motivation while introducing you to like-minded people interested in the same causes as you.

Meeting people at David Lloyd
The great thing about meeting people through exercise is having an immediate talking point and common interest. However, taking the first step and initiating a conversation can still feel daunting. A good way to start could be to:

  • Introduce yourself to a friendly face and tell them you’re new to the group
  • Ask the instructor to introduce you to a friendly regular you’d be able to shadow and ask for advice while you get the hang of things
  • Get chatting to another newbie – they’ll probably be feeling the same way as you and keen to connect
  • Follow up by asking someone you’ve chatted to if they’d like to grab a coffee or drink after the class

This post originally appeared on the David Lloyd blog.