Most people like to exercise in solitude—they don’t look up, they don’t talk to anyone and they have a brilliantly focused look on their face. That’s what some people would call motivation. But you don’t have to block out the rest of the world to get it.
Exercising with your friends or in a group fitness class can have a lot of beneficial qualities and a lot more motivating factors than working out in solitude.
In a March 2008 study in the journal, Birth by University of Taiwan, researchers reported that Taiwanese women taking part in an exercise support program were less likely to have postpartum depression than those who did not. An Ohio State University study reported in the June 2007 Journal of Cancer Survivorship found that group exercise programs improved the physical and psychological well-being of women being treated for early-stage breast cancer, according to the LATimes.
There is more to group fitness classes than a perky teacher, a group of people you may or may not know and loud music.
Group fitness can be a lot of fun. It makes the time go by faster, you’ll have the chance to meet new people, it’ll create more motivation and accountability, you’ll challenge yourself more and it will hopefully inspire you to try something new.
Sometimes when you’re at the gym, running on the treadmill can seem like an eternity. It could seem like 10 minutes, but when you look down you find that it’s only been two. When you work out with a group of friends or in a group fitness class, the pace of the class or the pace of your friends working out alongside of you will make the time go by faster and pump you up, increasing your energy level.
You’ll meet people
Social interaction in a group setting is a big motivating factor. When you work out in a group fitness class, you’ll have many opportunities to meet like-minded individuals who can help motivate you during your next workout. When you meet people at the gym, it will encourage you to come back the next week by creating an accountability factor. You’ll put forth better effort to come back because of the group dynamic that you are now a part of in your group fitness class. Being part of something makes us feel good and can also provide a little friendly competition to spice up your workout.
Some people bounce around aimlessly on exercise equipment or just stick to one boring option. This lack of balance can lead to an unsuccessful workout or even injury. When you have a trained professional instructor leading the group, you know you’re going to get a complete workout from someone who knows what they’re doing.
Having someone next to you to remind you to work harder or run faster are excellent forms of encouragement. Experts say the support, variety and motivation a group provides can help improve physical and mental health and create lasting exercise routines for the future.
You will learn to challenge yourself
When you find yourself surrounded by other motivated gym-goers, whether it's your friends or people from an exercise class, it will give you that extra oomph, challenging you to keep the pace and work even harder to meet your goals.
You’ll learn something new
Learning new ways to use your muscles will challenge your mind and your body. Learning something new will give you the confidence and encouragement you need to learn another skill.
So next time you’re at the gym, work up the confidence to try a group fitness class or bring some of your friends along. It will give you an extra boost and make you love your workout.