25 Oct The Benefits of Group Exercise
Exercising is tough, but it doesn’t have to be!
We all know that regular exercise is essential to living a happy & healthy life. Unfortunately, motivating yourself to consistently workout is not easy! We’ve all been there, after putting off exercising we finally commit to beginning a consistent regime. We’re excited, motivated, and ready to make a change. We join a new gym and start going regularly and immediately notice a change in energy levels and motivation throughout the day. But then, over the course of several months, life happens and we begin to miss workouts until eventually we’re back to not exercising at all. Thankfully, there are several (simple) ways to help increase your chances of success! Working out in a group and having someone to help hold you accountable to your commitments dramatically increase your chances of success over the long-term.
The advantages of exercising in a group
Working out with others is a great way to overcome the monotony of exercising alone. Group classes offer a fun, communal way to stay in shape while building meaningful relationships with others. We’ve all heard that intense physical exercise leads to a release of endorphins which makes us feel good after we work out. But did you know that exercising with a group actually increases the endorphin response? This results in a dramatic increase in your mood and overall sense of well-being for the remainder of the day allowing you to excel in other aspects of your life as well. (Steinhilber, Brianna 2018)
In addition to the positive physiological response that group exercise offers, it also tends to be more effective than exercising alone as you’re peers push you to work harder. Nobody wants to be the weakest link in any group, this tendency drives those who workout in groups to exert themselves more intensely than if they were alone which helps to increase the effectiveness of the session. (Steinhilber, Brianna 2018)
When working out with others, there is also an aspect of (positive) peer pressure that comes into play. If you’re friends with other members in the group and you don’t show up to your regular workout suddenly they begin to wonder where you are. Your peers are likely to ask you where you were and whether you’re going to come to class for the following session. This introduces accountability into the equation which (as we will discuss) is another major motivator that leads to increased chances of sticking with an exercise regimen. (Steinhilber, Brianna 2018)
Share your commitments with others
The American Society of Training and Development states that having a set accountability appointment with someone you have shared your commitment with makes you 95% more likely to stick with the commitment than if you only shared it with yourself. This is extremely powerful when setting goals (like getting in shape & consistently exercising) that are difficult to achieve. The idea is to have a set appointment(s) each week where you know that you’re going to have to share with your accountability partner whether or not you stuck to your commitment. This motivates you to stick to your goal and greatly increases your chances of sticking with the commitment until it develops into a long-term habit. (Oppong, Thomas 2017)
Group classes and personal training are two excellent ways to have others hold you accountable to your commitments. When working with a personal trainer, you have a fitness expert that you report to weekly which drastically increases the accountability factor. When you attend group classes you have the opportunity to share your commitments with multiple people, further increasing your chances of success!
Since working out in a group incorporates the benefits of exercising with others and the power of accountability, it is one of the most effective ways to begin and stick with a new exercise regimen. For these reasons, it is worth your time to find a good personal trainer or group class instructor when you’re beginning to exercise. Beyond their expertise, training with others leads to substantially higher rates of success and progress!
Oppong, Thomas. “This Is How to Increase The Odds of Reaching Your Goals by 95%.” Medium, Mission.org, 16 Jan. 2017, medium.com/the-mission/the-accountability-effect-a-simple-way-to-achieve-your-goals-and-boost-your-performance-8a07c76ef53a.
Steinhilber, Brianna. “The Health Benefits of Working out with a Crowd.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 22 Aug. 2018, www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-you-should-work-out-crowd-ncna798936.