How Group Fitness Classes Can Revolutionize Your Body

Health & Fitnessby Ariana Smith19 July 2018

Fitness Classes

You’ve seen the groups of Zumba dancers, aqua-fitters, and yoga practitioners at the gym—but is group fitness for you? It can be intimidating to walk into a group class where it seems like cliques have already formed. It’s even more intimidating when the type of group exercise is new to you. However, numerous studies have shown that working out in a group setting is beneficial to the individual.

In group classes, you feel a responsibility to show up. This responsibility increases if you join a group like a run club, where you know they won’t leave without you. If you have to register for a class, which is the norm at some gyms and studios, that’s a bigger responsibility than simply mentally committing to showing up. If you are dealing with some form of past trauma, group classes can be a useful form of therapy because committing to something helps you regain your self-confidence and esteem. Humans are conditioned to play by social rules, and if they feel like someone else is counting on them, they’re more likely to hold up their end of the bargain.

Plus, group classes entail having a trained leader who can help take you beyond your normal limits. It’s very helpful to have an expert on hand to make sure everyone is keeping a safe and proper posture. In yoga classes, the teacher can help with assists that allow you to safely move deeper into poses.

There’s also a social aspect to group classes that feeds a person’s desire for human contact. Increasingly, “social health” is being included in holistic health along with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. As we get older, it gets more difficult to make friends. There are the people we work with, our families, and maybe a few acquaintances we may make small talk with (like the barista who knows our order). However, humans are social creatures and crave interactions. Group classes offer a healthy environment where you can meet and mingle with people you’d otherwise never connect with.

Group classes are also places where complementary information can be shared. For instance, if you have a group instructor who is also a dietician, they may share the health benefits of nutrition as they talk you through a lifting session. These classes are veritable goldmines of information—and they are often free. If you’re a member of a gym that offers group classes as part of the membership, take advantage of it. After all, you’re technically paying for this guidance and information.

Every group dynamic is different. Try out various classes, teachers, or clubs in your area. With every addition and removal of a person, the group will change. It might take a while before you feel like you’re “part of the group” depending on its size and existing dynamics but hang in there. If you really don’t like a particular group, move on to another. However, you’ll find that as you commit to regularly attending group sessions, it will start to become a natural part of your day. When you have to miss a session and discover that the group missed having you there, it reinforces positive behavior—like sticking with it and prioritizing your health.

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Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is a regular contributor at The Daily Notes.

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