Whether you join an organised spin class in the gym, link up with an outdoor activity group such as a bootcamp class or Insanity or get your own group of friends together for an impromptu sporting activity or workout, there are three good reasons why more is merrier in helping you get fit and reach your goals.
Everyone reading this has probably been a solitary runner or cyclist or gone to the gym by themselves at some point in their fitness lives, and there is nothing wrong with that. But, variety is key to motivation and sometimes, doing it alone can be a tough call. Very few people can say they are motivated to exercise on every occasion. Yes, you may wake up one morning, slip on the trainers and go for a run, but are you always THAT motivated, all the time? Most people will have experienced that feeling of dread when they are contemplating a work out – low energy, low drive and a huge temptation to go home and sink into the sofa in front of the television.
One of the greatest benefits about working out in a group setting is having other people around you to push you, whether you felt that motivated at the start of the session or not. Many people who attend a class will show up exhausted from the stresses and strains of everyday life, but once within the group, those negative thoughts are swept away and everyone becomes re-energised. With an enthusiastic fitness instructor urging you on, it is hard to resist.
Once you get going, the energy of the instructor and the other group members will drive you on. Another plus? It’s not just motivation to exercise, it is also an incentive to improve. If you work out with people who are faster, stronger or fitter than you, they will push you to go faster, be stronger and go further, ultimately increasing your fitness level.
#2 Accountability to others
Letting other people down. It is a complete no-no. If you have told people you are going to turn up for a group class, then there is an added layer of expectation. It is the same if you have all organised a game of football or a run in the park – if you have promised to turn up, then the group’s expectations will act as a motivator.
Whether it is the thought of letting others down or the group teasing that may follow a ‘no-show’, accountability is a strong force to keep you on the road to fitness.
#3 Social Interaction
In a world that is increasingly linked via social media and online, we are missing out on our human interaction. By nature, we are social creatures, we love to be around other people, to laugh, joke and have fun. This is one of the greatest by-products of a group workout setting. Nothing brings people closer quite like misery and physical suffering. If you’ve ever done a boot camp or similar class, you’ll know that feeling of camaraderie under pain.
People may sign up to get fitter but the by-product is often life-long friendship. Many classes not only work hard together, but they may also have social occasions away from the gym. Sport and fitness is truly one of the best ways to meet people who think like you and you will quickly develop a common bond while getting into the best shape possible.
We live in a world where we’ve become so dependent on email, texting and social media. Human interaction is slowly disappearing. We can do just about everything today virtually without ever talking to a person.
Group fitness is the antidote to that. Escape your office, jump out of your car or leave your house and go and get fit with a group of like-minded people.