It’s 5AM and your alarm is going off. It’s time to wake up, lace those running shoes, and hit the pavement before starting your day. But your bed is so warm. It’s still so dark. And there’s always tomorrow, right? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Even though most people agree that exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, 80% of adults in America don’t move enough. We’re too tired, too busy, or too stressed to exercise. And when we do manage to carve out time, many of us lack the direction and motivation to get a good workout in. If you’ve ever spent your 30 minute gym sesh fluttering between the weight racks and machines without ever picking anything up, we’re looking at you.
According to a recent study by the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, social support may hold the key to breaking out of this inactivity rut. Researchers found that group exercise classes helped study participants get motivated, stick to their fitness plans, and shake off life’s daily stresses.
The basics of group exercise classes
We’ve all walked past an active spin class or peeked into a yoga studio. But group exercise classes are about more than dimmed lights and music. Most classes last 60 to 90 minutes, and cater to a variety of interests and activity levels. From bootcamps to restorative yoga—and everything in between—you’ll see the following benefits when you join a group exercise class.
You’ve got an instructor to guide you through the movements
Hopefully you’ve never tried to master any of these advanced yoga poses while watching an at-home tutorial. But if you have, let us know how it went… One of the benefits of a group class is that you have an instructor to guide you through exercises, poses, and movements. Making small corrections to your form helps you move safely and more efficiently. Whether you want to max out your kettlebell reps or gain confidence in your tree pose, a guided class provides you a safe space to experiment and develop your skills.
You’re more likely to work your hardest
Let’s face it, we all have days where it’s tempting to zone out and dog it on the treadmill. But how much are you benefiting from a lazy workout? When you’re exercising with a group (under the watchful eye of your instructor), you’re more likely to tap into your full potential and blow past your perceived limits.
You’re building a community, which holds you accountable
After a long day at work or running errands, a glass of wine and a Netflix binge might sound a lot more appealing than hitting the gym. That is, of course, unless you know your spin buddies will notice you’re missing. This is one area that peer pressure is a good thing. Countless studies have shown that exercising with friends or in a group improves consistency and keeps us from skipping workouts, or quitting altogether. That means you’re going to hit your fitness goals faster.
You’ll get a mental boost from group exercise classes
But social workouts are about more than showing up and putting in the work. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, participants involved in group exercise classes reported lower stress and higher quality of life than participants who exercised at home alone. The social exercisers also reported that they enjoyed their workouts more and stayed more active in the months following the study.
Still not sure if group exercise classes are the right fit for you? You can get a lot of these same benefits by joining a sports team, or just syncing your schedule with a trusted workout buddy. If we’ve piqued your interest, check out our schedule of classes for a workout that fits your health and wellness needs.