I often hear people discussing the benefits and pitfalls of group fitness. There are certainly several aspects on both sides to consider, but I’ll be honest and say that anything negative or “anti-“ group fitness is probably a personal matter.
There are many benefits to group fitness, some of which go beyond physical health. I’m going to share some of those with you today, and I’m going to include how to defeat some of those negative excuses. And then I’m going to tell you why group exercise can work even if you are already an instructor.
Group is Good.
Aside from the regular health benefits that you get from exercise, doing so in a group can provide you with other positive experiences that will only enhance your overall well-being.
Sure, it’s great to exercise on your own, but it can be more fun to do with it a group of like-minded people. Group fitness gives you the opportunity to interact with people who are there for the same reason you are – they want to get healthy. So why not put a little joy in the process?
This is obviously enhanced if you pick an activity that you can do with friends. Think about what fun you have if you do a Girls Night Out or join friends for brunch. Now apply that to a dance or cycling class. You’ll have stories to tell on each other for years to come!
If you’re not usually a joiner, this is the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. It may not happen in one or two classes. But if you consistently attend a group fitness class and are open to the possibilities, you may make new friends.
What if you’re one of those people who is constantly comparing themselves to others and you don’t want to take a group exercise class because you’ll feel inferior or are worried that you won’t be able to keep up?
Well, guess what? I’m fairly confident that nobody else in that group is going to be judging you. And you know what else? Who cares if they do? You’re making the effort to better yourself. Ignore the haters, find a class that is encouraging and you’ll be just fine.
Another social aspect of group fitness that people usually don’t think about is how it can affect their work product. Now, most fitness classes don’t require you to work together (unless it’s dance or sparring or other exercises that need partners).
But a group class in the right kind of environment can foster teamwork. Maybe the person next to you needs that extra push to finish a set or needs a bit of help with a yoga pose. Some instructors give rewards if the whole class can complete a challenge. That’s something you can’t achieve as an individual.
Not only can you derive social benefits from group fitness, but you may find several positive mental aspects as well.
You know how that feeling when you solve a complicated work problem or finally figure out how to get your kids to stop arguing (at least temporarily)? Apply that to conquering a step or exercise in a challenging group class. Or seeing other people master it and using that as motivation.
There’s a saying that you can never know what someone else is going through in life. Seems obvious, right? But if you use that mindset when it comes to group fitness, it can be a great motivator.
This is especially true if you’ve been attending the same class and have made friends. You don’t want to be a motivational vampire, but if you have even a hint of what people’s struggles might be and see them still showing up and trying hard, well…what excuse do you have?
Group fitness can be beneficial even if you’re already running your own classes.
Take a break.
In fact, if you’re instructing, you’re probably always perfecting your routines, working on your delivery, and trying to figure out how to motivate and challenge your classes. That can get pretty tiring.
Taking a group class can allow you to sit back and let somebody else do the work. You get to participate and still workout, but without any of the pressures that come with leading a session.
A different perspective.
Being in a group can also allow you to analyze other instructors, which in turn can give you insight into your own leadership traits. You might notice something that you don’t like the instructor doing or something that seems to be effective with the group.
Regardless, if it is positive or negative, it can give you an opportunity for some introspection on your own methodology and the chance to make some tweaks.
A final thought.
Group exercise is much cheaper than individual training. Sure, if you’re a runner or someone who likes solitary exercise, it’s free to find a jogging trail and get out there. But even if that’s the case, it wouldn’t hurt to find a class that challenges runners by setting goals to reach on treadmills. Who knows, you might find a new running partner.
The point being is that no matter what form of exercise you choose, chances are you can save money by doing it in a group while also absorbing several benefits from being around like-minded people. So, take a look at your local gym or rec center, find a session that looks interesting, and give it a try!
Learn more about what I do and PiYo, and how you can join me either as an instructor or a student, CLICK HERE! To learn more about my newest creation SoulFUSION, CLICK HERE. If you would like to participate in one of my weekend Virtual Classes, or my On-Demand classes, CLICK HERE.