The Advantages of Group Exercise Classes

The Advantages of Group Exercise Classes
The Advantages of Group Exercise Classes (Image: oneinchpunch/iStock/GettyImages)

Group exercise classes are more than the loud music, fast movements and shouts of encouragement that are seen and heard in a fitness room. These one-hour blocks of time offer social inclusion opportunities, health benefits and psychological support. From kickboxing and step aerobics to boot camps and indoor cycling, your fitness instructor will challenge and improve your body.

Social Opportunities

Attending a group fitness class gets you up off the couch and out of the same four walls of your home to meet people in your community. You are likely to have more fun exercising in a group than working out on your own. Fitness classes are a wonderful place to meet people who have similar lifestyle goals and needs. Make friends, have adult conversations and discover solutions to problems as you talk with other participants before and after class.

Motivation Boost

Participating in a group exercise class challenges you to work out beyond your perceived limitations. The instructor observes your body for signs of fatigue and pushes you to your limits. You are likely to work out harder, as everyone is exercising toward the same goal, than you would on your own. A group fitness instructor explains the benefits of each exercise, which increases your reasons to complete the workout and keeps you returning to class.

Health and Form Benefits

Group exercise class are available in a variety of workout styles. If your goals are cardiovascular improvement and weight loss, select aerobic-based classes such as dance aerobics, indoor cycling, kickboxing or step aerobics. Select weight training, calisthenics or boot camp classes if you also want to improve your muscular endurance and strength. If flexibility is your goal, a stretching or yoga class is a nice option.

Additionally, certain forms of exercises, such as spin, yoga and strength-training, benefit from using proper form. As a newbie, you might not know the proper form to use, which increases your risk of injury. In a class, though, the instructor will spot-check you, correcting your positioning if necessary.

People exercise on stationary bikes in fitness class. People workout in gym. Exercise on elliptical machine. Man personal trainer.
Let your instructor check your form during a group exercise class. (Image: Liderina/iStock/GettyImages)

Accountability Support

A group exercise setting helps keep you accountable to attend the class. When the instructor and other participants ask why you were absent, they generally are concerned for your well-being, and you will not want to have an "I sat on the couch" answer. If you are required to prepay for a group class, your accountability also increases. You have a limited number of classes that you paid for and are more likely to attend.

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