Do you cringe or grin when you hear the words “fitness class” or “group exercise class?” I know it seems to be a love or hate topic, but maybe these classes aren’t all that bad. Maybe you shouldn’t fret when you hear these words. Maybe you should consider giving them a try! Need some more convincing? Well here are several worthwhile reasons for giving group exercise classes a shot on your Quest!
A) Build Community
My personal favorite reason to embrace group exercise classes is the friendships you make and comradery you build. You go through the same hardship and stress together. You can empathize with your fellow classmates and find the often needed strength to continue from your cohort! The support you provide each other is often exactly what is needed to reach your health and fitness goals! And, what’s more, you not only have a robust support system, but new friends and connections that can carry on outside of the gym.
B) Keep you motivated and interested
The instructors of group exercise class are typically extraordinarily passionate, motivated, and enthusiastic – and that’s contagious! They are great at getting you fired up, pushing you that little extra bit, and making sure you give it your all. Group instructors not only are excellent motivators, but they can be masters at keeping you interested and engaged – they’re great at having you always wondering what the next exercise or obstacle will be.
C) More likely to stay accountable
Perhaps the greatest reason to participate in group fitness classes is that they increase your accountability! They give you a set schedule and a sense of responsibility to show up. You get to know your classmates and instructor personally and you don’t want to let them down. If you miss a class or two they’ll wonder where you are and maybe even check-up on you. And the list goes on, but the important part is that it instills a sense of responsibility in you, your instructor, and your classmates and you’ll therefore more likely follow though.
D) Gets you out of your comfort zone
To make progress you need to continually challenge yourself. Sometimes, we all fall victim to not giving it our all, or pampering ourselves a bit. In a group class your classmates and instructor may provide that little extra push you need to break through a plateau and ultimately reach your desired goal(s)! Additionally, the classes are always changing – on both a single class scale and larger scale (week to week or month to month). This change is pivotal in forcing your body to adapt to new movements and stimuli. And, there are a variety of fun types of classes to pick from including: spin, zumba, yoga, body pump, swimming, boxing, etc. They have a class that pretty much can meet anyone’s needs and goals.
E) Innovative ideas
Let’s face it; we ALL get stuck in workout ruts! Heck, I’m a personal trainer and when I design workout programs for myself, I still find myself struggling to come up with creative, fun, new, and challenging workout routines! So why worry about that unnecessary and unwanted stress when you can have someone else do it for you!
F) Efficient with your time
Group classes are very time-efficient. They are designed that way. Not only to challenge you, but also to entice you. Honestly, if the classes were very lengthy no one would enroll; therefore, they are designed to be quick and effective. You can find classes designed to fit into your lunch break, a quick session before or after work, or even an extended version for the weekend. They want to respect your time, meet your expectations, and challenge you as much as possible in the window of time they have!
G) Inspired by others
Often people will make the point that they are too shy, embarrassed, or simply scared to go into a group fitness class. They don’t want to be judged, mocked, or the butt of a joke! Truthfully, I have never experienced this or know anyone who has. More often than not, the people in the class are overwhelmingly supportive, positive, and encouraging. They typically are looking to help others, raise their morale, and be a friend and supporter! In fact, I bet if someone were to say something insulting to you, you’d have a better chance of getting support in a fitness class than anywhere else. And lastly, don’t view your classmate’s as rivals or opponents. Don’t feel intimated by them – find inspiration in them! Use them as motivation for yourself!
H) Strategically designed
One of the greatest aspects of these group classes is that they are safe, effective, and strategically designed. The instructor will ensure you are exercising with proper form, walk you through the movements, and lead by example. The workouts are strategically designed by experts in the field and are therefore effective and can produce profound results.
I) They are FUN!
These classes are fun if you let them be! They can be a great way to let off steam, cut loose, and lose yourself in the class. And think about it, as kids we always use to get together in groups and exercise/play – why does that need to stop? As we grow up we often move away from this routine. I know I sure missed the fun in getting together with a group of friends to excise. If you find yourself experiencing the same feelings, you may find the answer in a group fitness class! Get involved, give fist-bumps and high-fives, and encourage others – make it a blast!
So there you have it. More reasons than you probably wanted NOT to be afraid of fitness and group exercise classes, but to embrace them! Next time you hear these words; hopefully you’ll grin instead of cringe. What are you waiting for? Go give an exercise class a try!
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