The Advantages of Group Exercise Classes
Group exercise classes have changed a lot over the years, evolving from Jazzercise to step aerobics, to include circuit training, Zumba Fitness to Hot Hula. But one thing stays the same: They offer a world of good to anyone who tries them.
You get all the usual benefits of working out, plus guidance from an instructor and a real boost from the supportive, energetic ambiance a well-run group exercise class provides.
Sometimes, working out alone can leave you feeling adrift and wondering: Am I doing this exercise right? Should I be pushing harder?
While a group fitness class doesn’t offer the same one-on-one attention you’d get from a personal training session, the instructor is still there to monitor your form, encourage you to work out to the best of your capabilities, and answer any questions you may have.
A Complete Workout
It can be all too easy to let one of the three main fitness components — strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility — slide when you work out by yourself. Almost all group exercise classes are purpose-built to include at least two of those components — cardio, followed by stretching at the end — and quite a few of them offer some element of strength training too.
Group fitness classes are also geared to offer a full-body workout, challenging you to work those weak points you might be tempted to ignore when exercising on your own.
If you’re not the type who thrives on working out by yourself — or if you’re just feeling bored by going solo — a workout buddy might be just the thing to get you motivated again. Or how about a dozen of them?
When you participate in a group exercise class you benefit from the healthy friendships you make and the positive support other class members provide. Seeing others work out hard might just inspire you to give that extra last bit of effort too.
Upbeat music can rev up your workout, inspiring you to work out harder while simultaneously making the workout seem easier — you already suspect as much, and research sponsored by the American Council on Exercise confirms this.
You could spend hours putting together the best workout playlist — or just go to a group fitness class instead. Group exercise instructors spend a lot of time and often, a lot of money, to bring the best tunes to class.
If you’re already a member of a gym, most group fitness classes are free — as part of your membership — or offered at a significant discount. Still, they’re a lot cheaper than personal training.
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