What's Great About Group Fitness

For good results and good fun, get on board with group exercise.

Yoga class, photo by Thomas Northcut
Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

While there always exceptions, we humans do like to do things in groups: Go to the movies. Eat at restaurants. Celebrate special occasions. Most of us are social animals, which is why group fitness can be such a boon—especially for parents, as busy as we are with work, kids, and housekeeping. Take your me time at the gym, or on the trail with a running or hiking group, and both your body and your soul reap the benefits.

Group fitness is motivating. Enrolling in, and paying for, a group class is just the first level of motivation. Once you're in the class, you get plenty of inspiration from your instructor (if you don't, find a new class or teacher!). And if you make a friend or two, you'll be more inclined to get to class regularly, in spite of all your other responsibilities at home and at work. If you're the competitive type, you'll find you want to do your best when you're working out with others.

Group fitness is effective. Having workout buddies and especially an instructor keeps you accountable. You're less likely to skip essentials, like the warm-up and cool-down, or moves you just don't like, when they're part of a class. Your instructor can correct your form if you're off track. When you work out alone at home, it's much easier to slack off.

Group fitness is social. Especially if you're a stay-at-home parent, you probably crave grown-up time that's not centered around kids and their needs.

You can get that interaction in a fitness class or even just by walking or running with a pal. We all need regular face time with friends (not FaceTime or Facebook).

Group fitness is varied. Gone are the days when you chose between aerobics and step aerobics. Now, the possibilities are almost endless: dance party, boot camp, restorative yoga and so much more.

Plus, in most cases, classes will be different from day to day and week to week, and you can work at the intensity level that's right for you.

Group fitness is fun. You're doing something new, challenging your body, spending time with friends, and probably listening to music. You may even be outside enjoying some fresh air. That all adds up to a good time, which means you'll want to come back again and again. If you haven't enrolled in a class since prenatal yoga, it's time to give group fitness another go.

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