For professional writing sophomore Eric Hyames, joining MSU’s Running Club was an easy decision. He saw the club’s booth at Sparticipation and signed up his freshman year.
Ever since, Hyames said he uses the community atmosphere to stay motivated and to help him keep in shape.
Hyames said running with the group is like all of the members are “suffering,” while “having fun” together.
“A lot of what makes running difficult is the mental aspect,” Hyames said. “See, if you are running alone and feeling all of that on top of you then it’s different if you are with a group and everybody is supportive.”
The motivation Hyames said he feels when running with the MSU Running Club are the same for any type of exercise, according to a study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
According to the study, although exercise rates are low in the United States, perceived support from close peers can have an impact on an individual’s exercise rates.
“Friend’s exercise was associated with own exercise, but only when perceived support was high,” according to the study.
Hyames is not alone when it comes to feeling this way about the group atmosphere of the running club. He is joined by criminal justice senior Devin Mcclenton, who was a competitive runner in high school and transferred to MSU from community college.
“When you are with friends it motivates you a lot more versus when you are by yourself,” Mcclenton said. “I feel like when I am by myself I just have to urge myself so hard to go even just for like a mile run.”
Jack Luxem, an undecided freshman, said he agrees with the study.
“When you are with your friends and peers you get more motivation,” Luxem said. “They look up to you and you look up to them. There’s more riding on what you do so it pushes you to run faster and run more frequently.”
Luxem’s feelings about motivation for others are supported by a second study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
This study looks at married couples in particular and came to the conclusion that the support from a spouse leads to higher attendance rates for fitness classes.
Journalism sophomore Emily Lovasz said she agrees and with the sentiment that community support helps makes a healthy individual and said that says a lot about our society and the impacts it has on the individual.
“I like running as a community, just like this whole group and doing workouts and stuff, it’s so much easier and they push you everyday,” Lovasz said. “I constantly get better from that.”