Most of us know that working out regularly makes us healthier, but starting a new fitness regimen and sticking to it can seem like insurmountable obstacles.
Here are some good news for the exercise-weary: the benefits of group exercise classes include making it easier to get started and making you more likely to stick to it!
Exercise classes have come a long way from the Jazzercise of the 80’s; here are six reasons to find one that you’ll love:
Nothing kills an exercise vibe faster than boredom, but group exercise classes provide a highly varied alternative to the same repetitions on the same machines.
Depending on where you live, you can find traditional activities such as aerobics and kickboxing, but there are also a whole new generation of classes you might love, including the ballet-like Barre, Soul Cycle, and aerial yoga.
Some of the most popular classes currently are:
This variety of available classes also means that you might learn a new skill, like boxing, dancing, or swimming.
Not only does that keep your body and your brain in great shape, but it also staves off monotony, meaning you’ll be more likely to stick to your exercise resolution.
The benefits of working out socially are powerful.
Research suggests that working with partners creates more endorphins coursing through our body, which in turn block the pain we feel when working out.
This means we’ll work out longer and often harder when we do it with someone else.
Psychologists have known for years that when women, in particular, feel that they have high levels of social support, they’re more likely to exercise.
If you can’t get that from your current family or friends, an exercise class is a great place to find the support you need! Plus, it’s just more fun, and the more you can make exercise feel like something you “get” to do instead of something you “have” to do, the more likely you’ll be to keep up with it.
Another one of the benefits of group exercise classes is the instructors.
If you’ve done your homework and made sure you’re signing up with a certified, competent teacher, you’ll have access to something that resembles one-on-one coaching at a fraction of the price.
Excellent instructors can help you have better form, address specific concerns, and make sure you don’t skip cool down or important exercises that you might have nixed on your own. Plus, they’ll be creating combinations of exercises that will increase the effectiveness of the work you’re already doing.
Last but not least, a good instructor can help you avoid injuries.
It’s not uncommon for people who are new to working out or a particular fitness style to injure themselves. This can be a huge setback and is yet another reason to love exercise classes.
Something great happens when you’re working out with people who are better than you are: you get better too.
In 2012, a researcher at Kansas State University found stationary bike users exercised for almost twice as long when paired with a partner they believed performed at a higher level. The implication for you? Find a class of people who are committed and good at what they do!
Higher levels of motivation is another one of the benefits of group classes. Thanks to the rapport we develop with our classmates, we’re more likely to feel that it matters to someone if we exercise (or not), which makes us less likely to hit the snooze button.
Another terrific benefit is being able to watch your classmates reach their fitness goals.
Especially if you don’t have a particularly supportive spouse or family, it can be very difficult to find the encouragement and daily motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. Surrounding yourself with a class full of healthy people who understand what you’re going through can make all the difference!
Not only are there a wide variety of fitness classes to choose from; there are also a wide variety of special interest classes to join.
There are classes for seniors, for example, as well as classes for parents with children in strollers. Ski enthusiasts can find ski condition classes to take with fellow outdoor sports hobbyists, and soccer lovers can find soccer groups.
These types of specialized exercise classes make it super easy for you to connect with others and find friends best on your shared stage of life or interest. Important as community is when you’re struggling to make exercise part of your lifestyle, finding people who can share in your journey is paramount.
Consistency is key for almost anything we do in life, and being able to pencil in exercise on your calendar--with little or no prior planning on your part--is a godsend to many.
If you’re a working parent, for example, juggling kids’ schedules and work deadlines, it’s a relief to have one thing in life you can just show up for, no planning required.
The consistency of a daily or weekly class also helps you establish exercise as a routine and not just that thing you start every January! You’ll find that if you commit to those relatively small blocks of exercise time, the results will add up more quickly than you think they could
Can’t you just envision your slimmer, toned, more confident self after a semester of that fun new class you’ve been eyeing?
It’s well documented that exercise makes you a happier, healthier person and we certainly think we’ve put together a compelling list of the benefits of group exercise classes. The real question is, why are you still reading this article?
It’s time to sign up for class!
Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.