Are you in a fitness slump? Group exercise can inject your workouts with energy and fun. If you’ve been working out on your own but feel like you could use a change, consider enrolling in a class or joining a fitness group.
The physical and emotional benefits of exercise are well known, but did you know there are additional advantages when you engage in group exercise? A group can be a class with an instructor, or a more casual gathering that meets for a sport or activity. Here are some of the perks of tapping into the collective energy of a group.
Find Motivation, Have Fun
Boredom is a common reason for avoiding exercise. Finding something you love to do can keep you motivated. The social element and variety of a class may be enough to keep up enthusiasm for working out. When you meet regularly with a group, you’ll make new friends. Especially if members of the group have a shared interest, such as dancing, yoga or weight training, you’ll forge relationships based on common goals.
Beat Loneliness, Lift Spirits
Exercise is a powerful mood enhancer. Maintaining social connections is vital for wellbeing and happiness. When you work out with a group, you’re combining two forces that lead to better health. In a study of group activities, researchers found collective physical pastimes, such as dancing, enhanced participants’ feelings of acceptance. A significant minority of bariatric patients report feeling depressed after their procedure. Physical activity, especially while in the company of others, is one way to avoid feeling blue.
Get Help, Learn Good Form
A gym can look like an incomprehensible array of barbells, cardio contraptions and resistance riddles. Personal trainers can teach you to work out, but group classes are more affordable. In a group, you can get personal attention from an instructor. In a class, you’ll learn proper form for strength training, the right duration and intensity for a cardio workout and the ideal amount of rest.
Keep Pushing, Stay Challenged
A class structure can inspire you to go to beyond self-imposed limits. Maybe you think you can’t walk a mile or dance for 30 minutes. When you’re working out, there may be times when you’re ready to slow down or take a rest. If you’re exercising with a group, an instructor may urge you to keep going for a few seconds longer. Each time that happens, you’ll gain a little more fitness and confidence. Classmates, too, can motivate. When everyone’s moving together, it’s easier to find energy to make it to the end of a workout.
Do It Your Way
Group exercise may not be for everyone, but it can keep you consistent and accountable. If solo exercise isn’t keeping you motivated, take the plunge and try a group. The key to most exercise programs is finding something you like.