Most individuals are hesitant to join group fitness classes when they’re just starting a new workout regimen. Oftentimes, they are worried about their ability to keep up with the pace of the class, or they are worried that they won’t enjoy working out with other people watching. However, when an individual is able to move past the initial discomfort and join a group fitness class, it only takes one or two meetings to convince them that groups have a lot to offer. Below are some of the benefits of working out in a group:
If you are looking for guidance from an educated fitness trainer, a group is going to be much less expensive than an individual training session. Depending on the type and size of the class, the instructor will often give quick, individualized pointers about your form and execution of the different movements in the class. In a larger class, you likely won’t get individual feedback, but fitness trainers take into account that some participants in the class have varying levels of ability. Therefore, they will often show the entire class ways to modify the different exercises to make them less strenuous or more challenging. If you are a member of a gym, the cost of many group classes is included in your membership fee.
Being encouraged in your activities feels good. Not only that, science shows that positive verbal encouragement can affect how well an individual performs a task. When someone tells you that you have the ability to do something, your brain stores that as one piece of evidence. The more you hear this type of comment, the more your brain convinces you that you are capable. There is a vast body of research showing that belief in your ability affects how successful you will be. Another way in which encouragement is helpful is to let you know what it is that you are doing right. When you are praised by the group instructor for doing something well, you can infer that what you’re doing is good for your body. If the instructor encourages you to adjust what you’re doing, you know that you have room to improve. Either way, knowledge is helpful.
A group fitness class is a place to challenge yourself to learn new things and to push yourself harder. You’ll find that some in the class consider a variety of exercises their favorites for working out certain muscle groups or getting their heart pumping. In group fitness classes you can switch up your normal routines and learn different techniques. If you practice the same exercises every time you work out, your body becomes efficient at completing those exercises and will do so with lower exertion. Making slight variations to your movements engages different muscles and forces your body to work hard and challenge itself.
Working out with others is a great way to create bonds and make friendships. Endorphins are released into your body when you exercise. Endorphins help to create feelings of happiness and a sense of connection. It makes a certain amount of sense, therefore, that a bunch of individuals in one room who are feeling happy and connected often strike up friendships. If you’re an extrovert and enjoy being around a lot of people, the simple fact that other people are in the room can make your workout more enjoyable. Introverts, who often prefer solitary activities or small groups of people, may be more comfortable in a group than in an individual training session because the group allows for anonymity – you get to participate as little or as much as you want to in a group.
Moving your body in unnatural ways can cause injury. Therefore, it is comforting to hear, “yep, you should be feeling a slight burning in your calves” or “make sure you keep your feet shoulder width apart as you lift”. Proper instruction helps you to move forward with the confidence that you are not doing more harm than good to your body. Especially when you are starting a new exercise regimen or are moving from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one, it is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Exercise can be strenuous and difficult, but it should not be painful.