January 2012

It's Better in Groups!

Author: Tracy Kelly

January first… It’s a New Year accompanied by New Year’s resolutions. What is the best way to achieve your fitness goals this year? Have you ever considered group fitness? Group fitness offers many more benefits than working out alone. Research shows that people are more likely to work harder and stay committed to a workout regimen when they exercise in groups.

Top 10 Benefits of Group Exercise:

1. Motivation: Has a treadmill ever told you, “Great job! Keep going!” In a group fitness class, not only will the instructor motivate you to work hard and accomplish your goals, the other participants encourage each other as well.

2. Healthy addiction: Experts say that group exercise unleashes feel-good endorphins that could turn fitness into a pleasant addiction. Being “addicted” to group fitness will keep you hooked on exercise!

3. Cost effective: While working with a personal trainer can be very effective, it can also be very expensive. Many clubs offer free group fitness classes and some clubs have personal trainers teaching these classes! Group offerings are definitely worth investigating when joining a gym.

4. Variety: Many people quit working out because they cannot find the “thing” that will keep them going. When looking at different gyms to join, you should take a close look at their group fitness schedule. Does the club offer a variety of classes? Try different classes to see what motivates you. Keep in mind it typically takes three or four classes to get the hang of it.

5. Safety: Group fitness instructors should have the training and background to provide a safe and effective class. Just like a personal trainer, the group fitness instructor should guide you on proper form during exercise.

6. Time effective: Group fitness classes tend to fly by because the class is fun and the instructor/music makes you forget you are working hard. Most classes run an hour and focus on cardio, strength, flexibility or a combination of all three.

7. Anti-aging: Trying something new and different challenges your mind and body and can help ward off the effects of aging.

8. Challenging: When you ask someone what they like about taking a group fitness class, one of the top responses is, “I work harder in a group fitness class than I do on my own.”

9. Camaraderie: Group fitness is a great way to meet others who share similar interests and goals. Forming friendships with other participants creates accountability for coming back week after week.

10. Cross training: If you continue to exercise in the same fashion all the time, you will plateau. Cross training is a great way to reduce boredom, train different muscle groups and prevent injury. Group fitness classes provide a variety of different ways to train every day!

Now are you convinced? Try something new in 2012. It’s better in groups!

Tracy Kelly is a national trainer for Body Training Systems. She is ACE, AFAA, and Johnny G. Spinning certified. She teaches group fitness classes at Benchmark Fitness Center, located at 11 Sheridan Park Circle, Bluffton. For class schedules and more information, visit benchmarkfitnesscenter.com or call (843) 757-5115.

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