The Kohler Effect and the Health Benefits of Group Fitness

Aristotle, the great philosopher wrote, “Man is, by nature, a social animal.”

This social behaviour is part of our adaptive DNA. It encourages us to come together and do things that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own.

We have all had time where the thought of getting out of bed for our 5.25am class or showing up after a long day at work is the last thing, we feel like doing, but what keeps us on-track and motivates us? Sure, it has a lot to do with how much better we will feel afterwards but a big factor is the people around us, our ION community. 

There is something special about looking around in the middle of a workout and seeing your peers supporting you through that gives you the push you need to get it done. We’ve seen this reach another level with our newly formed ION Legends (overs 60s) class and our ION Running Club, members turning up week in, week out not just because they want to improve their physical fitness (which they definitely will) but also because they enjoy the social aspect of the session. 

Research suggests that working out in a group has a number of benefits including reducing stress and improved cognitive health, improved self-esteem and commitment to an exercise regime.

There is also a huge amount of research around the powerful ‘Kohler Effect’ – the idea that you are positively motivated by those around you and in turn will work harder in a group setting. This can be applied to any group setting – whether it’s within the gym or in the office (one of the setbacks of working from home). As humans, we feed off the day to day interactions with others, it helps to motivate and inspire us.

When it comes to exercise, that isn’t to say that we should all be competing with one another, and that is most certainly not what ION is about. We believe in the importance on ‘Connections’ one of our key pillars of health & wellness. The importance of building relationships and having interactions within our gym with coaches and members, enhancing our community and providing the benefits outlined above. 

Above all we want our ION members to enjoy their time with us, making friends, having fun and motivating each other during classes and reaping the rewards of forming these connections in all aspects of life. 

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