All in This Together
Do you often find yourself quitting early in your workouts? Perhaps you gave yourself an hour to spend at the gym and 30 minutes in, you’re thinking, “I did enough; I can leave now.” Or maybe you’re not quitting early, but you’re not enjoying the time you’re spending working out. Time goes by too slowly. You wish you had someone next to you with whom you could laugh about the guys grunting and lifting weights in their jeans; you just aren’t having a good time by yourself. Whether you’re feeling unmotivated or just feeling bored, the problem with your workout routine may be that you’re doing it alone.
Now, I realize that some people’s perception of group workouts is that they’re cheesy or made just for women and elderly people. In reality, this is simply not true. Anyone can benefit from group exercise, and there are a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to the type of workouts, the intensity and the experience level. Whether you want something intense–Crossfit, Boot Camp, Cycling, Kickboxing—or something more relaxing to help you tone up—Pilates, Yoga, Zumba—there is a group workout you can benefit from.
Experts agree that the motivation and support provided by a group environment helps improve many individuals’ workout performance and establish lasting exercise routines.
“Social interaction in group exercise settings can be a vehicle of encouragement and motivation for many…Individuals are more inclined to come to the session because of social interaction, but also to put forth better effort because of the group dynamic that occurs with others—a positive competition, in a sense.” Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.
Another great aspect of group exercise is that it allows you to be social with others during your workouts. Just as recess was the greatest part of the school day when you were a kid, your group workout can become a similar release to look forward to during your busy day. It’s a time when you can get together with fellow fitness enthusiasts–who will undoubtedly become your friends if you keep up with your routine—to enjoy a good workout together. If the workout is difficult, you get to suffer together. If it’s competitive, you get to challenge one another. If it involves Latin music, giant Kangoo boots or makeshift body ball drums, you get to laugh together. See the point? Together! You’re not going it alone. You’re less likely to ship out early, and you’re more likely to see your workout as a pleasurable time of your day—something to look forward to, instead of something to dread.