Are Group Exercise Classes for You?
Sick of slogging it out in the gym? Lack motivation to exercise at home? Considering signing up for a group exercise class?
Group exercise classes are a fun way to burn those calories, get your health back on track and try something new. Here are five reasons your should and shouldn’t join exercise classes.
Reasons you should join a group fitness class:
1) Meet new people - This is probably one of the best reasons to join a group exercise class. Whether it’s a Zumba class or an hour of barre, group exercises are a great way to meet new people. If you’re feeling bored and lonely at home, get out right now. Since most exercise classes require you to sign up for at least a month, you get multiple chances to know the people in your class.
2) Keeps you motivated - It is easy to fall off the bandwagon when you’re slogging it our on your own. In the beginning, potato chips look more attractive than an hour of circuit training. We’ve all been there. Joining an exercise class makes sure that you stay on track. It forces you to show up for the class because you’ve paid for it. It helps you make a commitment to your health.
3) Cardio is boring - It really is. Doing it with a group of people makes it fun. When you’re working out alone, you’re more likely to give up and take breaks. I recently read that Julia Roberts calls her friends over to practice aerobics with her. This is because doing cardio alone can be boring. Sweating it out in your living room is different compared to dancing your heart out in a large room filled with people and loud, adrenaline pumping music. So, join that Kickboxing or Zumba class and pump it up.
4) You are not alone - Let’s face it. We all fear being alone. The same logic applies to exercise. Having a community of people who share the same interests and fitness goals as you helps you overcome that initial hurdle. It also helps make new memories and create bonds.
5) You are a beginner - Exercise classes are especially useful for beginners. At that stage, you need an instructor to guide you. Instructors in group classes often go around correcting incorrect postures. If you can’t afford a private trainer, a group exercise class is the next best thing. You could also benefit from the motivation which comes from being a part of a community and sticking to a schedule. All you gotta do is show up. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Reasons you shouldn’t join a group fitness class:
1) You are an advanced exerciser - If you are an advanced exerciser, I wouldn’t recommend exercise classes. This is because they are generally tailored to the requirements of the majority.There are exceptions to this, though. There are always advanced modifications that you could do. There are also classes that are aimed exclusively at advanced exercisers.
2) You don’t live near a gym or exercise class - In this case, it’s not possible to join one. Fitness classes are very common these days. You can find one in almost every area. However, if the nearest class is miles away, this might lead to loss of motivation. Nobody wants to get in the car and drive for miles on a freezing winter evening. You could always find classes near your workplace and drop in on evenings if that is more convenient.
3) You have special needs - Since exercise classes are tailored to meet the needs of the majority, they may ignore the unique requirements of each client. Everybody has a different body. Different bodies have unique needs. If you want to focus on reducing a problem area or want to follow a regimen exclusively for your body, a personal trainer is a good idea. This also applies to those that have injuries and are differently abled.
4) You are shy - I know everybody faces this problem when they decide to lose weight. There is a big bad world out there, waiting to judge you. If you’re below the average fitness level, you may need to start slow and build up your stamina. Consult your physician before you decide to join anything. However, in some cases, the fear exists only in our minds. We may feel self conscious. Nobody has the time to look at you in a group fitness class. They’re all too busy trying to get the moves right. So, if that’s what you fear, use this opportunity to overcome it.
5) You can’t decide which class to join - Looking at a long list of exercise forms like Zumba, Crossfit, Pilates, Yoga, Kickboxing, Circuits, Barre etc. is enough to overwhelm any beginner. I recommend sampling a class before committing to it. You can also do some basic workout videos online to get a feel for the exercise form. If you decide that you would much rather prefer to exercise alone than join a class, find a way to go about it.
I hope this article helped simplify the process of joining an exercise class. Remember, patience is the key to success. As with anything, fitness takes time. Stick with it and you’ll see results in no time.
About the author:
P. Wish is an author and blogger. For more information about her and her works, visit www.pwish.net.