Group classes make exercise fun

Paula Reece
Paula Reece

Are you someone who’d never combine the words “exercise” and “fun” in the same sentence? You’re not alone. The health club industry has worked hard to come up with something new and exciting to engage and motivate people to exercise, and group exercise classes are no exception. 

You might have heard of Virtual Reality Cycling Classes, Zumba, Boot Camp, Insanity or HIITS. The basics behind exercise remain the same, but some new concepts add a twist, making group exercise both beneficial and fun.

Statistics show that when you enjoy an activity, you’re more likely to participate. Group exercise fitness classes have been that hook for many health club members. There are many different venues of classes. Each one can be categorized into one or more of the areas of the fitness triangle:  cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility. Classes often include more than one area. Some classes include all three.

Cardio group exercise classes involve increasing your heart rate. These classes help with fat-burning and increase your metabolism while strengthening your heart and respiratory system.   Some examples of cardio classes include: group cycling, Kick-It, and P90X. Such strength classes as BodyPump and Chisel use weight equipment. These classes focus on repetitions and muscle tone. “Mind & Body” classes, also known as flexibility classes, include yoga, Pilates and BodyFlow. These classes incorporate poses and stretching that yield to a longer and leaner body, better posture and muscle flexibility. Water classes often include all three areas with the benefit of non-impact on your joints.

In choosing a class, first learn what it’s about. Read class descriptions. Find one or more that intrigues you. Each class has its own personality and physical benefits. Some are tailored more toward the beginner, while others are hard core. The time of day a class is offered, the instructor teaching the class and length of the class are all considerations when choosing a group exercise class.  Take the time to try out different classes. You’ll undoubtedly find one you love.

Why is participation in group exercise on the rise? The social aspect of group exercise isn’t a concrete value, but remains important. Friends hold each other accountable in a group setting.  Knowing there’s someone waiting for you can give you the extra push you need to not skip your workout. Being in an environment where you feel safe and where you want to be is also a valuable aspect of group exercise.

Another strong benefit of group exercise is the instructor.  These health professionals are trained, motivated and prepared. They teach proper body form and modifications for safety. They make it easy. Well, not easy in the actual workout, but easy in that they have convenient class times, have done all the preparation, learned the routine, recorded their music and are standing in front of a class with a big smile on their face ready to “rock your world.”

Staying fit and healthy is the goal. It can be difficult to stay motivated performing the same exercise routine over and over.  Group exercise instructors not only provide a quality workout, but one that’s motivational. There is a huge variety of classes in which to choose. Finding a class that sparks your interest and makes exercise fun is the key to staying committed to your healthy lifestyle.