By Laura Profit, MS CPT
VP of Fitness, HiTONE Fitness
Research shows that the healthy actions of others rub off on us. Studies show that participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviors of those around them. If that doesn’t have you running out the door to a group fitness class, this will: a published study found that people tend to lose more weight if they spend more time with their fit friends. Not only that, the study found that the more time those studied spent with their fit friends, the more weight they lost!
Whether someone is just jumping into the workout scene or considers themselves a seasoned pro, group fitness classes can give people the boost needed to push themselves to the next level. Plus, there’s a sense of community that they might not get in a normal gym setting. Now, you might picture Richard Simmons in an intense moment of step aerobics when you hear the words “group fitness,” but you should quickly clear that from your mind. Yes, aerobics is definitely considered group exercise, and it totally started a revolution, but there are plenty of other types of group fitness classes that don’t include steps or sweatbands.
If that doesn’t have you running to your nearest Histone Fitness, read on why Group Fitness classes are right for you…
1. It’s great for beginners
Group classes help people fit in right away in a gym setting. People often find themselves staring at an elliptical machine wondering how long they should be on it or how hard to push themselves. They should jump right off and sign up for a class. The group class instructors will take them through each move, hold them accountable and push them harder than they might think they’re capable of going. Group fitness is scalable too. If someone is a beginner, it’s okay to use the 3-pound weights instead of the 10’s.
2. It provides a workout regimen
We know how hard it is to sign up for a class and show up to it. But once someone finds a few classes they really love, put them in their calendar and designate that one hour each day or every other day to do it. Remember: It’s just an hour. They can totally do it!
3. It’s downright fun
If the participant goes to the same classes for a while they’ll start making some friends. There’s energy, music and people. For those who dread the gym, signing up for a class makes a good sweat session so much better!
4. It’s easy to get started
It is a great idea for a participant to show up a little early to class and introduce themselves to the instructor to let him or her know it’s their first time attending. Instructors are always available to answer questions about form or a certain exercise. They make time before and after class to connect with their participants and answer any questions. The website is always a good place to gain information on what a participant should wear or take to class.
5. It is an opportunity to learn
Remember that instructors are teachers too. So, yes, while people are there to work up a sweat, it’s also an opportunity to learn new moves and execute them properly. No one should be embarrassed if they can’t execute a crow pose or properly swing an uppercut. That’s why the instructor is in front of the class!
6. It’s a time to be social
While working out alone is the perfect opportunity to schedule some time with themselves into their day, exercising with a group can motivate people to work harder. It can create a sense of camaraderie, like you’re in a team setting.
7. You don’t have to create the game plan
People spend all day making decisions for themselves—when to start working on a project, what time to make dinner, how to confront a sticky situation. All a participant has to do with a group fitness class is show up. The instructor has the rest figured out.
8. It’s fit for anyone
If someone doesn’t love working out or doesn’t know how to program a workout, group classes can offer motivation and proper instruction to make the hour or so of time they dedicate to it worthwhile. They might normally do 10 reps, but their instructor will push them to do 12; they might typically skip burpees, but their instructor will work them into the routine. With a teacher by their side, participants will likely find themselves doing more than they normally do on their own.
Even if someone is a regular gym user, a studio setting could help them switch things up. A group fitness studio often offers more space and a different vibe that can be just the change they needed.
9. The instructors are there for their participants
Instructors are motivational powerhouses, personal cheerleaders and fitness role models. They’re full of energy and they’re knowledge, so no matter what the participant’s day is like they know they are walking into a welcoming space. It might not be the actual exercise—but the person at the front of the room that keeps people coming back week after week.
There’s no doubt that you’re ready to get into a class and soak up the benefits of working out in a group. Make sure you choose a class that sounds interesting to you (if you hate riding a bike, a Spin class probably isn’t the best choice) and within your current fitness level. Then, grab your water and a towel and head to class! A great instructor and a supportive group are waiting for you.