The case for swapping group hangs for workouts—and why research says it’s legit


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In the age of “if you didn’t Instagram your workout, did it really count?” fitness can feel like an all-or-nothing proposition—but it shouldn’t. Together with Michelob ULTRA—the next-level light beer that wants to take the stress out of staying fit—we’re exploring ways to be active that you’ll actually enjoy. Because being healthy doesn’t require fitness to be your whole life, just one (fun) part of it. 

Not-so-breaking news: Life is busy. Between work, commuting, and the nitty gritty admin of our personal lives, it’s hard enough to make time to squeeze a workout into your jam-packed schedule, let alone spend quality time with your friends.

But those social experiences shouldn’t have to take a back seat to life obligations, and science agrees. This 2010 research combined data on 308,000 people across multiple studies and found a strong correlation between deep personal relationships and increased life span, suggesting that spending time with people you trust can actually help you live a longer, healthier life.

All those feelings of reward, happiness, and accomplishment science says you can get from friendship? You can get them from working out, too.

Something else science agrees on? Working out is also good for your health (big shocker there). Exercise is constantly proven in scientific studies to help you lose weight, keep you healthy, boost your self-esteem, and increase your overall happiness. All those feelings of reward, happiness, and accomplishment science says you can get from friendship? You can get them from working out, too.

So if you’re forced to choose between spending your precious free time taking a boxing class or hanging out with your crew, which do you choose? We say, don’t choose.

Together with Michelob ULTRA—the light beer that’s all about finding joy in wellness—we’re celebrating ways you can integrate fitness into your routine while still living a life you love. Case in point: combining the good vibes of a group hang and the benefits of a sweat session into one giant, feel-good time.

Want to try a workout with your friends, but not sure how to get them on board? Keep scrolling for five ideas that’ll convince them.

workout with your friends

Get stronger, together

If you haven’t yet tried a workout with your friends, get into it. This 2014 study even suggests that humans naturally pick friends that are physically on their level, which could date back to the hunter-gatherer days.

Could your friend keep up in a wild boar chase? What about a fifth round of burpees? Chances are, you and at least some of your friends are on the same page when it comes to how willing you are to push yourself physically—so if you’ve never tried working out together, you could be in for a really fun time!

Join a run club

Whether you’re flying solo or with a friend, run clubs are an awesome way to socialize and work out at the same time. They typically cater to runners of all levels and—the best part—they’re usually free. If you’re not sure where to find a club in your neck of the woods, your local running store likely has one, no matter where you live.

workout with your friends

Kick off happy hour with a workout

Post-work hangs with your coworkers don’t always need to make a beeline your local bar (though no judgement if that’s your vibe for the night). Ask your work friends if they’d join you for a pre-happy hour sweat sesh after you leave the office, and bonus points if the workout format encourages interaction with your pals, like SWERVE Fitness or Switch Playground in New York City.

Whatever workout you choose, you’ll have a total team bonding moment letting out any workday stress together, and leave feeling more connected—just in time to go grab that post-workout beer.

Seek out themed classes

What’s better than spending $200 on Beyoncé concert tickets with your best friends? Going to a Beyoncé-themed workout class with your best friends. Fitness studios are always holding themed classes, so pick an artist you and your pals love and break a sweat to your favorite songs.

Find your Zen

Sometimes a yoga class can almost feel like a therapy session. You walk out feeling calmer, more open, and just a little more optimistic about the crazy world outside the studio walls. Sharing that good energy with your closest friends is a subtle yet powerful way to just feel good together—and that’s something that every friend group can make time for.

Sponsored by Michelob Ultra

Photos: Michelob Ultra

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