It Takes Two to Tango (or three, or four…)

How Synchronic Exercise Can Affect Our Well-Being

Have you ever marveled at the beauty of a synchronic performance? Whether in ballet, gymnastics, underwater aerobics, or yoga, people moving together transforms a simple activity into something deeply communal. It turns out that there is some scientific evidence to why synchronic activities are so much more pleasant than a solo venture. For one thing, synchronizing is contagious—we can’t help but try to match another’s rhythm. Even in heated competition, frame by frame breakdown of a race will show the runners falling into the same gait. While this might sound like it would hinder the runners from breaking away from each other, the opposite is true; synchrony actually improves the efficacy of our movements, even if it is imperceptible.

Throughout history, synchronic movement has helped bond societies together, from communal village dances, to army drills, to “the wave” at a football game. Moving together helps to break down perceptions of the self as separate from the collective whole, which adds to a sense of community and goodwill toward one another. Cooperation among those in a contiguously moving group tends to soar.

In a church setting, synchrony is easy to foster, as a whole group of people are already brought together under one roof for one purpose. As a congregation worships together, the feeling of fellowship is only natural. Singing, praying, and simply being in each other’s presence during worship encourages a deep communal relationship. Churches take this even further outside of worship with the growing trend of church yoga, tai chi, and other fitness groups. Moving and meditating together not only helps our sense of well-being, but can deepen our relationship with God, too. So grab a friend, and get moving!

What types of synchronic exercise are out there?

Here are some suggestions to get you started in synchronic exercises:

  • Tai chi, yoga, and meditation are offered in many church settings, or as a supported ministry open to the community.
  • Fitness facilities usually have a number of options for group exercise, such as synchronized swimming, Zumba, kickboxing, bootcamp classes, and more.
  • If you’re a runner or cyclist, your local community may have a running group or biking group that you can join.

Group exercises do more than offer motivation to work out; they help foster a sense of community and encourage social interaction with like-minded individuals. The more you engage in communal activity, the greater your sense of well-being!
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