What is the benefit of group fitness?
We all know we need exercise. This is no surprise to anyone. But did you know that the type of workout you choose can make a big difference in your results? My journey with fitness started with group fitness as a teenager. Sports and I did not get along when I was young. I liked the idea of them….but as far as the skill or the confidence to play? Nope. So needless to say - least favorite class in school? Gym! It was a chance over and over to feel awkward trying to learn or at least survive 45 minutes playing the sport of the day. Until the day a group fitness instructor came in to teach us aerobics. I wasn’t expecting anything different then from my other “gym” experiences, but WOW!!! I couldn’t believe how much I LIKED it, and could do it…..and was having fun! That was the fastest 45 minutes ever. That introduction to aerobics turned into my first real job - I, a very shy and quiet 17 year old, was leading a fitness class to 30 and 40 year olds!
So when it comes to group fitness, I am the #1 fan! But lets look at what group fitness does. Walking into that group class gives a member a sense of community, or what I call - “sympathy training”. We are all doing it together, wether its holding a plank just a little longer, or driving harder in a cardio drill. Many are driven by competition, this can be a really positive way of pushing just little further than you thought you could. There is a strong mental component to feeling part of the “crowd”, and nothing better than seeing the smiles and high fives after finishing a class together.
It doesn’t always have to be about pushing hard though. It is very beneficial to a client that needs to modify a certain drill to be with a group and seeing all levels working together. This can show the positive progression that should be a goal in all workouts. Have you ever worked out by yourself at home, or even solo at the gym, and found your mind wandering? As hard as you try, you keep thinking about other things…the food shopping or that project sitting at work. Well being in a group is a great way to disconnect from the outside distractions and stay in the moment with your “team”. This is to me one of the best benefits of group fitness and one of the elements I work to get every member to embrace and practice. The more your mind is in the workout - the more focused your body and muscles will be - which translates to a better workout! Thats my job in the room and I take it very seriously. For many people this is their one chance to de-stress during the day. As a group fitness instructor one of the things I have realized, our job is important, we can help a client reach their goals. A lot of times a persons mind says no I can’t do it, but their body is capable - we just need to offer the encouragement, modification if necessary and then be their cheerleader! Find the instructor that motivates you - everyone has a different style, shop around until you find the right fit, then enjoy your fitness journey!