Benefits of Group Exercise
By Derek Walczak, Exercise Physiologist
Tanger BeWell Center at BIDMC
There is nothing wrong with going for a walk or lifting weights on your own, but having someone (or several someones) regularly join you for a workout can be key to staying motivated and committed to exercising.
On those days when you don’t quite feel up to snuff, a workout buddy can give you that extra push to get outside or hit the gym. Knowing that you and four of your friends already paid for 10 sessions of Zumba is also a good reason not to skip out on class #4.
Here are some other great reasons to join a group exercise program or round up some pals for a regular walk, jog, or gym session:
It is often more affordable to work out in a group with a trainer than to hire a trainer for a one-on-one session.
Work out with individuals who have similar goals, interests and possible reservations or fears of beginning an exercise program. This can alleviate some of the stress for everyone and act as a great motivator.
Once you’re comfortable with the group, you can use others’ success as a challenge to reach your own. Individuals are also less likely to skip workouts when they know someone else is counting on them being there.
Support from your fellow group members, as well as the instructor, can make you feel that you’ve become part of a community; knowing that others are cheering for you to reach your goals is also a great feeling.
There are countless types of group fitness classes and programs available, letting you and your friends try something new and change up your routine frequently to keep from getting bored. You could even start your own group class.
Working out in a group with an instructor, or even with just one partner, can help you avoid injury since someone will always be there to monitor your form or keep you from overdoing it. This especially holds true for weight lifting, but applies to most any workout.
A good exercise group or program will provide proper progression, so all fitness levels can be accommodated. This will keep the inexperienced exercisers safe and the more experienced folks engaged without becoming bored.
Participants often feel as if the time goes by faster during group workouts, as they are enjoying themselves and having a good time.
One final note: if you join a more formalized exercise group or class, make sure that the instructor or group leader is qualified and offers the workout in a safe environment.
Please consult a physician before starting any exercise program.
Derek Walczak is an Exercise Physiologist at BIDMC's Tanger Be Well Center. He holds a BS in Kinesiology from UMASS Amherst and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Above content provided by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
Posted April 2014