What is it about group fitness classes that keep people coming back for more? Whether you’re stretching your legs with yoga poses, working your arms in a Body Pump session, or moving your hips during a Zumba class, group fitness seems to be all the rage.
Having only taken a few Yoga classes during my fitness career, I felt I was not quite an expert in the area of group fitness to full understand the driving force behind the trend. So, in order to assess why exactly so many people benefited from this form of exercise, I believed it was best to interview a few individuals who did understand.
I asked them each the same question: “What are your top 3 reasons for attending group fitness classes?” What is it about this form of exercise you enjoy so much? I hoped these top 3 responses would help to shed a bit more light on the subject for me, and they certainly did.
One reason was obvious to all – exercising by yourself was lonely. Doing it with others was much more fun. The social environment encouraged camaraderie. When you made a mistake, you laughed at yourself. When you couldn’t do a particular move or stretch, the person beside you encouraged you to try. You didn’t need to know someone before you attended a class to enjoy the company of others. You weren’t working out alone, you were with people with the same goals and mindset as you, people who started from the bottom just like you. Everyone was working toward a common goal – to finish the class to the best of their ability. Everyone was in it together.
The second reason these individuals attended group fitness classes was the accountability aspect that the classes offered. Not only were you making new friends, but you were held accountable by these friends to continue attending. Accountability is important when making any sort of lifestyle change. In this case, it is important for the individuals you meet to encourage and push you to live a healthier lifestyle by means of attending these fitness classes.
The third reason people enjoyed attending these classes was due to the challenge it posed. As one individual stated, “(The classes) give you a really good workout. I couldn’t push myself as far if I was working out by myself.” The primary reason that one can walk away from a class feeling more fulfilled than after individual workouts is because of the class-like structure. The instructors for these sessions are both knowledgeable and experienced and are thus able to give you the best workout possible. They not only teach you the correct forms for the exercise, but also motivate you to reach your fullest potential.
So there you have it: accountability, camaraderie, and a challenge – group exercise classes bring all three of these to the table. It’s important to note, however, that although these 3 were the most common answers, everyone has their own reasons for attending these classes – as they should! Don’t feel like you need to have these same interests in mind before you give it a try. I certainly didn’t, but whether you’re an expert group-fitness-class attendee or a newbie like myself, these types of classes can benefit everyone.
And Don’t Forget! If you want to give group fitness classes a try this year and experience the hype yourself, try it at the YMCA! Visit the link HERE to find out more about all of the classes we offer.
– Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator