If you’ve been trying to workout for a few years but can’t seem to get into a good routine or rhythm, perhaps you should consider finding a workout partner and/or class. Maybe you thrive off of exercising with friends or making friends in a fitness class. Either way, if you find something that works for you and if it includes joining a group fitness class, go for it.
Don’t let a class scare you from the many myths of group fitness classes. Sure, every fitness class has their own quirks, but most are quite neutral. If you’re considering joining a class, do some basic research why it might be a good fit before jumping right in.
1. Motivation and Accountability
This benefit alone should be enough to convince you that group workouts are excellent, especially if you are new to your fitness journey. When you workout in a group, you are inadvertently challenged to push beyond your perceived limits. There is also an added competition as you see everyone around you working toward the same goal. In addition, if you are new to working out, there are multiple benefits to having an instructor. The worst thing is getting an injury, so having an instructor show you the proper movements can avoid possible accidents. Plus, there’s an added benefit that comes with paying for a class and wanting to get all your money’s worth.
2. New Friends
By attending a group fitness class, you are putting yourself in a situation that forces you to socialize. You are meeting people in your area who have the same lifestyle goals, needs and wants. Once you meet people and make friends, you will start to look forward to going to your workout classes. It will be a much more enjoyable experience. Meeting new people can also be good for your mental health. Besides, you never know if your next best friend is waiting for you at the next class!
3. Change Up Your Workouts
It all depends on what your specific goals are. Group workout classes can be anything from dance aerobics, indoor cycling, kickboxing, step aerobics, spin, yoga and strength training. If you want to focus on stretching, yoga is the way to go. If you are looking to improve your cardiovascular improvement and weight loss, focus on aerobics. But this is something you don’t have to worry about figuring out. Someone else has that job and responsibility and you just have to show up.
4. Decreased Stress Levels
A study found that those who are in a fitness class see a significant decrease in perceived stress. A decrease in stress can improve all sorts of things including a decrease in headaches, anxiety and high blood pressure. There isn’t exact proof behind this, however being around other people and engaging in physical activity together, is a great way to build relationship and grow a bond over similar interests.
5. Increased Will Power
Another 2012 study found that people who rode a stationary bike alone only peddled for 10.6 minutes. On the other hand, people who rode in a group lasted 19.8 minutes. This study goes to show that working out in a group can increase your ability to push through difficult workouts especially with that group motivation and peer pressure. Whether you lose track of time talking or you have a friendly competition going on with your friends, working out in a group can help you work out longer.
Fitness groups can be a great way to get involved in exercise and find motivation to keep a steady pace. Give it a shot and you might be surprised how well you thrive in a group class.