Written by Ellarie Sutton
The amazing benefits group fitness classes offer are no secret. A chance for friendly competition, opportunity to make new friends, and great coaching, just to name a few. However, there are perks of organized fitness classes not many people are talking about. Here are five great benefits of taking group fitness classes you may have never thought about:
1. Attending group fitness classes regularly strengthens your habit-forming ability
Not only are classes at a consistent time each day, making planning your day around them easier, but research shows that being around people who have the habits you want to practice makes habit forming easier and quicker. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear explains that “one of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day.” Group fitness classes are a perfect example of this as everyone else attending the classes also has a habit of showing up. And 99% of progress is just showing up.
2. You save time & energy when someone else designs your workouts
Maybe you’re an early riser and workout at 5 am. Maybe you like to wait until the end of your day. Or maybe you are super-efficient and can squeeze your workout in at lunch. No matter when you work out, you want to make it count. Part of that is making sure you are doing the right movements that will make you stronger and bring you closer to your goals. When the burden is on you to come up with what movements you want to do that day, it can be tempting to skip. With group fitness classes, the workout is already programmed, leading to a stress free, constantly varied workout regime that comes with amazing coaching to help you accomplish any goal you may have.
3. It forces you to disconnect & connect
Speaking from personal experience, when I go to a big box gym by myself, the first thing I do is queue up a playlist and pop in my headphones. Chances are, I don’t speak to one person the whole time I’m there. Quite the opposite happens when I show up for a class at enduraLAB. Most days I leave my phone in the car and the second I walk in the door; I am greeted with a smile and immediately enter into a conversation with whoever else may be taking the class. Often times, this hour of being disconnected from my phone, and able to spend time interacting with others face to face is taken for granted. But if COVID taught us anything, its that we need human interaction AND exercise, and taking a group fitness class is a great way to knock out two birds with one stone!
4. You can travel with it
Imagine- you’re on a vacation and feeling the urge to workout. Sure, the hotel gym is an option, but an even better option is finding a local functional fitness gym and dropping in for a class. You’ll get a chance to see a new gym, different coaches, and maybe learn a new movement. This is also a great way to meet locals and learn more about where you’re visiting. Plus, it’s always a good excuse to add another t-shirt to the collection
5. You’ll get better by watching others
Research shows that one of the most effective ways to learn a new movement, besides actually doing it yourself, is by watching others do it. In group fitness, not only do you get this benefit when the coach demonstrates a movement, but the effect is multiplied as you watch everyone
else in the class do the same exact movement. The repetition of watching others will surely have an impact on how quickly you are able to pick up and become proficient at a new movement. As you watch others, you’ll see things you like and don’t like about their movements and can adapt what you want and leave the rest.
Whether you’re looking for a new workout routine or have been a long-time group class go-er, it’s important to remember all of the benefits they offer- many of which extend beyond the walls of the gym.