For a lot of us, our team becomes our family. The family we create for ourselves. The support network present when we need it the most. A guaranteed group of friends always up for a good time. But many people don’t even associate exercise and training with any kind of socialization, and this needs to change!
It’s Not Just Physical
Everyone knows that sport and training benefits us in many physical ways, it can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression and dementia. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is the social benefits of exercise and training.
Engaging in physical exercise with others provides so many more benefits than just getting fit. The process of training as a group brings motivation, moral support and a sense of accountability. In turn we meet people, make friends and socialize while we get fit. Because of the social aspect of the workout we keep coming back, the people keep us coming back. By doing this we not only become physical healthier but mentally and socially healthier too.
Preaching to the Choir
Two years ago I moved to Boston, I had never been to the city before and I knew no-one. Training was never something I thought would be a part of my experience, let alone become one of the most significant aspects of my life there. Yet here we are. Training with my team is now one of the most important parts of my life and something that helped me find my community in Boston.
Engaging in fitness with others not only made me a healthier and more confident person but gave me a community and a support network at a time when I needed it most. It helped me feel at home in a country and within a culture that was not my own. The crazy thing is before I found a team that suited me I didn’t even know you could make friends through sport, something which many of you may find hard to believe as with rugby this is an essential part of the package.
Because of this I achieved athletic feats which I never thought possible which in turn allowed me to achieve things in my personal life which I never thought possible. Training with a team helped me change my lifestyle and, more importantly, my mind-set. I no longer looked at exercise as a chore or something I resented doing. Instead, it’s something I get excited for, and is now a love of mine. And for that I will be eternally grateful for finding a fitness group that suited me! And I know I’m not the only one.
It’s the exact same when it comes to rugby – joining a team can be an amazing experience and journey, and one you’re certainly not embarking on it alone! So, why not join your local rugby club this pre-season and step out of your comfort zone?
Out of Your Comfort Zone
When moving to a new town, city or country, one of the hardest things can be finding a new social circle. But local teams can give you that instant group of friends, all of who you have something in common with. The supportive network allows members to thrive personally on many different levels, be it through increasing confidence, successfully battling mental-health issues, or even overcoming a grievance. Having a group of people who will genuinely look out for you and support you in times of need is an essential part of the team package. I know that for me personally it meant that no matter what, three times a week, I was going to see friends, train out on the field, and most importantly have a laugh. What more could you want?
The Secret We Should Tell Everyone
As I said I think many people associate exercise or training as being alone but it is our job, your job, to let people know that training can be sociable. We need to help people realize that exercise can be a social. It can be a hobby. It can help you meet new people, give you an escape in tough times, provide you with a support network and change your personal mindset in a positive way.