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Getting active together is better

In a world where interactions have become increasingly virtual, it’s easy to become isolated. Technology, time constraints and the pandemic have led to less face-to-face interaction and more loneliness. Physical activity can help strengthen connections and bring us together at work, at school, in our neighbourhoods and beyond.

A group of people walking on giant treadmill

How can physical activity help me connect with others?

It’s human nature to bond with others – and it’s good for us! Healthy bonding includes building relationships with our family, friends, pets and community. The meaning of community extends far beyond our geography and can include groups who share passions or interests, religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Being active with others is an important strategy for inclusion, especially when it comes to high-risk groups such as older adults and recent immigrants to Canada. Social inclusion and friendships – keystones of community – are what keep us active in the long run, promoting greater longevity and health.

A kneeling woman  teaching a young boy how to garden while more youth are standing in the background also gardening

Here’s how:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity triggers feel-good chemicals, and when done with others, it can lead to an even greater surge of endorphins.2

  • Team sports can be a great way to meet new people from your community.
  • Group fitness classes can help you connect with like-minded people.
  • Taking your dog for a walk can help you meet and connect with neighbours.
  • Activities performed with others in sync, like jogging, cycling or cultural dancing, can be especially beneficial to our quality of life, social interactions and our bodies physically.3
  • Check out the free ParticipACTION app to track your progress and for ongoing motivation, articles and exercise videos.

References

  1. UPDATED STAT ON PANDEMIC LONELINESS, RETRIEVED FROM: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/211124/dq211124e-eng.htm
  2. YORKS ET AL. (2017). EFFECTS OF GROUP FITNESS CLASSES ON STRESS AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION, 117, E17-E25. RETRIEVED FROM https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136705
  3. RETRIEVED FROM HTTPS://JOURNALS.PLOS.ORG/PLOSONE/ARTICLE?ID=10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0136705

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