Before Valentine’s Day takes the stage, we have Galentine’s Day! This day emphasizes going out or staying in with your gals or closest friends. It’s the perfect day to step away from your relationship (if you’re in one) to focus on your friends, or just to connect with the people who are close to you.
We’ve got some fun, group-based activities to help bring you and your crew together. The best part? They’re active! Did you know that friends who work out together enjoy greater health benefits? It’s true, group or team-based activities are associated with better health outcomes compared to individual activities.1 This is because socialization contributes to and improves our total wellbeing. This year, get your friends together with any of these fun, group-friendly activities!
HIIT classes are made for groups! They are exciting and motivating partly because of the group aspect of the class. With great music to set the tone, you can compete with your friends, against yourself, and feed off the energy in the room. A good instructor also fuels that fire and helps push your workout just a little bit farther. Take a class with your friends and you’ll be talking about it for hours afterwards!
Work is stressful, relationships are stressful, being single is stressful; life in general is stressful. If high energy and high intensity is not what you’re looking for, a group yoga class can be just what you and your friends need to wind-down and breathe easy. Make it part of a self-care day and start your Galentine’s Day with some time for focus and self-awareness.
Here’s one for those who need some time with Mother Nature. Hiking is a versatile group activity because it’s easy to choose trails that can accommodate people of all abilities and skill levels. There’s also basically no limit to your group size. The only things to really consider would be the amount of available parking at the trail-head and making sure you leave with all the people you went with. It can be easy to lose track of group members the bigger the team grows.
We’re trying to keep in mind that it’s still February and that it may still be too cold for immersive water activities. Rowing is a water-based exercise that’ll keep you mostly dry and that can accommodate a variety of group sizes. A single canoe, depending on what kind it is, can hold up to 8 rowers or 9 people if there is a coxswain. The coxswain is the person who sits facing the opposite direction of the rowers in order to steer the canoe and encourage the crew. This activity is usually seen as a competitive sport, but it can also be done recreationally. It sounds like a blast and we really hope someone tries it out and reports back on how it went!
5. Ball Sports
Under this category you have a ton of options like:
Team sports are a lot of fun and are great options for the competitors out there. Make it interesting by coming up with a prize for the winning team or a punishment for the losing team. Some ideas (that won’t destroy the fun) include: “winners don’t have to drive to the next destination” or “losers have to do 50 pushups.”
6. Indoor Rock Climbing
When you go rock-climbing, you typically need a spotter. In the climbing world, this person is called the belayer, and they help protect the climber by securing the rope attached to the climber. If the climber falls, the belay stops their descent. This makes the activity perfect for groups because both roles are pretty involved. Belaying is easy to learn, and the activity as a whole gives everyone the opportunity to try both roles.
7. Laser Tag or Paintball
Another fun group activity is the grown-up version of the game we used to play as kids. You won’t realize how much you had been running and sweating until you’re headed home and you catch your wild-haired reflection in a window. Get the group together for some laser tag or paintball and you’ll definitely go home tired and happy from the adrenaline rush.
- Eime, R.M., Young, J.A., Harvey, J.T. et al. A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for adults: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10, 135 (2013) doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-135. https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-10-135#citeas