There are many ways to get fit. Running, weight lifting, jazzercise, Sit and Be Fit…you name it! Hitting the treadmill or watching online Pilates tutorials at home alone will definitely burn a few calories, but heading to a group training class can make your workouts more effective. The benefits of group fitness are more than just physical, and you will enjoy the benefits as soon as you sign up for your first class!

An Excuse to Get Out of the House

Technology has given us the ability to learn any fitness routine right from our computers, but let’s be honest…don’t you want to get out of the house every now and again?  People who work from home or stay-at-home parents can use a group fitness class as an excuse to leave the kids with their spouse and breathe some fresh air for once!

Motivation to Move

Besides an instructor telling you to jump higher or pedal faster, working out with a dozen or more people encourages you to keep up and keep going. The excitement of the class can increase your heart rate and your energy from start to finish. (If nothing else, most upbeat classes have a pretty killer playlist to pump you up, so there’s that…) A high-five, nod of encouragement, or even just someone else’s presence will keep you on the exercise bike longer than pedaling by yourself and/or watching the news (or really bad re-runs).

Motivation to Go to the Class in the First Place

Forget the exercise routine…a group fitness class will motivate you to show up in the first place.  And showing up is half the battle!  Memberships cost money, and whether you pay by class or pay by month, skipping a class is a waste of money. Plus, if you reserve a spot in the class and don’t show up, you might feel guilty taking someone else’s spot. Even if your hard-earned cash is the only thing that gets you to the gym every day, you still make it to the gym.

Group Classes Form a Community

Once you hit the same classes a few times, you will start to work with the same instructors and start to see the same people who also attend the class. That is how life long friendship begin.  Everyone at the gym is there to better themselves and burn some calories so you already have something in common and it can often be refreshing to meet new people outside of work and home. These friendly faces may also be the reason that you show up to class. Saying hello and meeting new people makes the class more enjoyable and opens up the possibility of making friends outside of the gym.

And, of course, these communities don’t have to stay in the gym! Group fitness also include running groups and occasionally even ‘Dude, let’s all just go eat a fat burger’ night out.  Some fitness groups are also geared toward people in similar situations: moms with young children, veterans, etc. Joining a community with similar people can help to relieve stress. You can hold each other accountable to your goals inside the gym and out by exchanging healthy recipes or recommending good fitness gear.

Hands-On Instruction

In order to get the most out of your workout, you need to complete exercises with correct form. Trying a new sport or fitness routine may be hard if you are constantly pausing a YouTube video and looking at the instructors, and they can’t tell you if you are squatting wrong or need to adjust your yoga pose. Seeing everyone around you completing the exercise or stretch will give you a better idea of what you need to do. A physical instructor can also guide you with personal directions and help you safely complete each exercise.

If you are looking for more personalized instruction, a group fitness class is a great place to start. Many instructors offer private lessons or personal training; before you pay extra for one-on-one classes, you can get to know each instructor as they teach a group.

You Don’t Have To Worry About What To Do Next

Walking into a gym alone can be intimidating. You can run…but for how long? How many squats should you do? How long should you stretch for? How do you use this machine!?

A group fitness class takes the worry out of your time at the gym. The instructor lets you know how many reps you are doing or what dance moves you’ll try next. Fitness instructors are typically professionally trained, and know how to safely build and stretch specific muscles throughout your session. Leave your routine up to the class and get in your daily dose of exercise.

Less Stress + A Better Workout = Higher Endorphins

One of the physical and mental benefits of working out is releasing endorphins. Endorphins are your “happy” chemicals, giving you a boost of positivity. When you give control of the workout to an instructor, meet friendly people, and increase your heart rate with exercise, your brain starts to release more endorphins. Endorphins also helped to reduce the amount of pain that you can tolerate, allowing you to work out without strain for a longer period of time. Group fitness reduces pain and boosts endorphins better than solo exercise. No wonder everyone steps out of a fitness class with a smile on their face!

Variety of Classes

Want to try something new? Check out other classes that your gym or instructor offers. Fitness centers usually offer a wide variety of classes for members, including martial arts, jiu jitsu, or kickboxing. Going to a different class will work different muscles and give you something exciting to look forward to during the week. One class could kick off a new love for a sport or hobby.

You Get More Out of Your Gym Membership

If you sign up for a gym or fitness center, most likely, group classes are included.  It certainly is here.  Why not take advantage of everything your gym has to offer? Not all group fitness classes are cardio-based. A restorative yoga class or group stretch can help to wind you down after using your favorite machines or taking a long run. The variety of classes will help you get a more well-rounded and effective workout.

Whether you join a class at a local fitness center or sign up for a running group on social media, working out with a group has a long list of benefits. Enjoy your workout!

 

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