The Benefits of Group Exercise
Exercising in private has its advantages. You don’t need to be self-conscious about how you look, can go at your own pace, and when you exercise at home you can choose any time that’s convenient for you and your schedule.
However, exercising with a group has many distinct advantages as well. One is that you’re encouraged to work at a particular pace. Often when people exercise on their own, they tend to slow down their pace so that they’re comfortable but aren’t really burning calories. While you don’t want to push yourself to a dangerous level when exercising, you also need to challenge yourself so that you’re really working your heart and lungs and are building and toning muscles. A group class can ensure you keep pace.
Another benefit of working out with a group is that you know you’re doing your exercises properly. When you try to do yoga or Pilates on your own, you may be stretching improperly or holding yourself in a position that is unbalanced, and this can cause muscle strains or be ineffective. When you do aerobics on your own you may also neglect a warm-up or forget to mind your posture or breathe properly. Having an instructor lead you in these exercises ensures that you are performing them properly and safely.
You also get a lot of good encouragement from group exercises. If you join a group or class you’re more likely to show up, especially if you paid good money for that class! Sitting at home when you know the group is in session can be very discouraging but if you paid an enrollment fee, you’re more likely to at least show up and go through the motions.
Getting to know others in a group can also be very motivating. They can share what works for them when it comes to weight loss and maintenance and can encourage you when you feel like giving up. They can also check on your progress and encourage you to work harder when needed, or tell you if you’re pushing yourself too hard and are at risk for injury. You can also encourage them and this sense of teamwork helps you to succeed.
A group exercise class can be found at your local gym or you can create one on your own. Others at your office may be interested in joining you for an exercise class or you may get your friends together for a regular exercise session every week. You might also check your local community center for exercise classes as these are typically more affordable than joining a gym. Find a group that works for you and stick with it, and you’ll have weight loss success.