When you take part in an exercise class or workout in a group, you are doing more than just getting a good work out.
A study carried out at the University of New England, USA, by the American Osteopathic Association, found taking part in an exercise class leads to lower levels of stress. This can sometimes be as much as 26 per cent lower than people who exercise alone.
Putting students to the test
The study, carried out by Dr Dayna Yorks, tracked 70 medical students for 12 weeks. The students were chosen because their profession is one that attracts a lot of stress. Some were in groups, some worked out alone and one group did no exercise at all. At the end of the study period, the group that comprised the exercise class saw big improvements. A 12.6 per cent increase in mental health. A 24.8 per cent increase in physical health, and a further 26.2 per cent rise in emotional health.
The group that exercised alone saw their mental health improve by 11 per cent, but this was the only improvement in overall health and fitness.
Dr Yorks said: “Given this data on the positive impact group fitness can have schools, universities and work places should consider offering group fitness opportunities.
“Giving people an outlet to help them manage stress and feel better mentally and physically can potentially alleviate burnout and anxiety.”
Find your perfect exercise class
At Kelsey Kerridge, we offer a wide range of classes that suit people of all different health and fitness requirements. With 20 classes, ranging from flexibility-enhancing yoga and pilates to the addictive Insanity or Energy Blast exercise class, there really is something for everyone.
We also know that an exercise class is more than loud music and a constant barrage of shouted encouragement. These blocks of time are an opportunity to learn new techniques, improve health and fitness and enjoy social interactions.
Taking part in an exercise class also challenges you to work out beyond your own perceived limits. A good instructor will observe your levels of fatigue and know just how far he or she can push you. You are also likely to work harder with people around you also trying their utmost to reach new limits.
You should choose your exercise class wisely as you are investing your cash and time into the activity. Why while away an hour in a pilates class if you actually want to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
If your goals are muscular endurance and strength, choose weight training, boot camp or sculpt and tone; for cardio, then it is spinning, Smash H.I.T or circuits; flexibility would call for some yoga, broga or pilates.
And then there is the accountability factor: an exercise class setting helps keep you accountable to attend the class. When the instructor and other participants ask why you were absent, they generally are concerned for your well-being, and you will not want to have an “I sat on the couch” answer.
For many, the greatest benefit of exercise classes or group exercises is the diversity offered. If you go to the gym on a regular basis and workout on your own, there is a tendency to stick to the workout that you know. An exercise class means a knowledgeable instructor who will show you new techniques and help you reach higher fitness levels.