If you’ve ever enrolled yourself in a group class like cycling or Zumba, it’s hard not to feel the energy in the room. This is probably why you may people prefer taking group fitness classes over going to the gym alone to sweat it out. Science also agrees that group classes have a much bigger impact on you than working out solo.
Why Group Classes Are Better
According to new research published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, exercising with a group significantly improves quality of life and lowers stress. For the study, researchers at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine recruited a group of 69 stressed-out medical students and divided them into three groups.
One group did a 30-minute workout with a group at least once a week, another group exercised on their own, and a third group abstained from exercise other than to walk or bike to work.
Despite the fact that the solitary exercisers worked out twice as long, they didn’t see many significant changes in their quality of life or stress levels, while the group exercisers experienced an improved mental state and reduction of stress by 26 percent.
The researchers say, “The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone. The findings support the concept of a mental, physical, and emotional approach to health that is necessary for student doctors and physicians.”
You also cannot ignore the fact that exercising with a group gives you a certain high that you do not experience when exercising solo. According to neurologists, exercise releases biochemicals that help you bond with those you are working out with, and being together in a community also releases bonding biochemicals. Here are some of the added benefits of group workouts.
Benefits Of Group Workouts
Being surrounded by like-minded individuals can be inspiring and motivating. The combination of an encouraging instructor and supportive people all around you empowers you to do better. This can help you push harder than you normally would and do it without worrying about failing because every person around you is a teammate.
If you’re working out alone, you need a plan and a disciplined approach. But when you enter a group fitness class, you do so with a free mind. Each class is structured with a warm-up, a balanced workout, and a cool-down. There is an instructor to coach you every step of the way and you just need to follow their lead. This makes working out less tedious and allows you enjoy the exercise.
3. Proper Form
Form is a big factor to consider when you exercise. The wrong form can lead to injuries which could lead to a lifetime of pain. In a group class, the fitness instructor’s job to not only show proper form, but to also make sure that everyone in the class is executing each exercise the right way. So you don’t have to worry about getting a personal instructor.
Most gyms have a range of different exercises being offered in group classes. Cardio kickboxing, bootcamp, spin, Pilates; you can take your pick and add variety to your workout regimen. It’s also a great way to create muscle confusion, which keeps your body guessing and ramps up your metabolism.
5. The Fun Factor
When you really dig down to the basics, people stick to group classes simply because it’s so much fun. There is great music to push up your tempo, people around you to motivate you, and you can have a blast without feeling like exercise is a chore.