Go into most health clubs and other large fitness establishments in Britain, and you’ll find various group exercise and fitness classes on offer. These range from the fairly common ones like aerobics and Pilates to more exotic options like body combat with MMA techniques and swimming exercise classes for pregnant women.
Most people who want direction when exercising and can afford to do so will hire a personal trainer to work with them on a one-to-one basis, while those of us on a tighter budget resort to group exercise classes like the ones just mentioned.
But while one-on-one training can be extremely useful, group exercise has many benefits too. We’re going to explore some of these in this article…
Fun Social Environment
Participating in a group exercise class is an excellent way to be around others and meet people. It’s not at all uncommon for participants in these classes to go for a drink and a bite to eat in the cafeteria after the class is over and they’re all showered and changed.
Something that often adds to the fun of these sessions is when upbeat music is played in the background. It feels like dancing in a club!
Easy Entry Level
One of the things that aerobics instructors, gym supervisors, Pilates teachers, and the various other types of professionals who take group exercise classes are taught during their fitness instructor training is the importance of designing group exercise classes that can be undertaken by people of almost any fitness level.
The instructor will know that most people in attendance are there to improve or regain, as well as maintain their fitness, and as such, he or she will make sure the exercises are not so rigorous that people who are out of shape or struggling with body weight issues cannot keep up with the fitter members.
This means that group exercise classes at your local health club will be perfect for you if you’re someone who’s been avoiding other exercise settings because of concerns about how well you’d cope.
One of the challenges we face when exercising alone is that of self-discipline. We have to force ourselves to keep going and resist the urge to stop a series of reps or a sequence of some exercise as we approach the end.
Being around other exercise participants in a group fitness class can be an excellent way of focusing our resolve and forcing us to push ourselves all the way when doing an exercise. For some it’s a matter of pride and not wanting to be the person in the group who quits. Others enjoy the shared feeling of triumph that the group feels when seeing an exercise through to the end.
Exercising alone can potentially be dangerous, and therefore seem intimidating, for those of us who don’t exercise a lot or who have never exercised seriously. Group exercise classes are great for making people feel comfortable and safe, because not only are all the exercises designed by trained professionals to be safe and fun, but the instructor will take everyone through any necessary warmups and stretching before and after a class, to ensure your body is in the right state exercise.
Just remember to discuss with your instructor any particular health issues you have or have had in the past, which might affect your ability to exercise or present an additional risk.
In summary, group exercise classes in their many forms are a fun, safe, effective and rewarding exercise experience. If you’re looking to lose weight, get fitter or just make sure you stay fit and don’t want to fork out for personal training, group exercise classes are a very worthy, more affordable alternative.