Are group classes a cult? Yes. Do we still love them? Yes.
Whether it’s a run in the park with your bestie or pumping and dipping in a spin class, exercising together has numerous mental, physical, and social benefits. There’s a reason why those post-pilates high fives hit different!
Accountability: Adding a group fitness class to your schedule in advance like you would a meeting or a coffee date makes us more likely to commit to getting some movement in. We all know it’s far too easy to fall victim to the charms of a cozy bed or couch after telling yourself you’ll go to the gym, but it makes it a little harder when that cancellation fee is whispering in your ear! Scheduling a workout adds that extra layer of accountability - not only are you committing to yourself, but to your friends, partner, or whoever your fitness community may be.
Motivation: The phenomenon of putting more effort into a task in the presence of others is called social facilitation and has been researched extensively by psychologists. In the same way that you get more work done at a library or cafe where others around you are working than at home, working out as a team pushes us beyond the mental blocks we might encounter solo. As humans, we naturally have a competitive streak, and group exercise taps into this in a healthy way.
The Köhler effect is the idea that we strive to avoid being seen as the weak link of the group, so being in a room full of people pushing their limits motivates us to follow suit. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone!
Social Impact: Group exercise is also great for our social well-being. I know, duh, but hear me out - it’s in our evolutionary history as humans to live and work in packs, and our social circle has been proven to have a major impact on our mental health. Grinding through a tough workout with the support and encouragement of a team evokes a sense of camaraderie and shared achievement.
Exercise and socialization are two things that get those mood-boosting hormones flowing, so make it a double-whammy! Not only is group fitness a great way to spend time with the homies, it’s also an opportunity to meet other like-minded people that share your ambitions. The people around us have more impact on us than we may think, so surround yourself with inspiring people that cheer you on and have a positive impact on your lifestyle.
Fun and Variety: Plain and simple - group fitness classes are genuinely enjoyable! we’re much more likely to stick to a workout routine if we enjoy it rather than having to drag ourselves there, so free yourself from the shackles of the stairmaster and take a walk on the wild side! From bootcamps to yoga to pole dancing, the rise in popularity of group fitness has led to a wide array of classes available to tickle your fancy. They say variety is the spice of life,
so let’s get a little more spicy and a little less shiddy ✌🏼