Why A Fitness Class Could Be Better Than A Solo Workout
You signed up for a year’s worth of unlimited fitness classes at the closest gym earlier this year. Ten months on and you can count the number of classes you have attended on one hand. So you make a mental note to cancel the membership at the end of the year. After all, you have a pair of running shoes, a pair of weights and a yoga mat. How hard could it be to go solo instead?
The answer – harder than you think. Especially if you have already struggled to turn up at a group fitness class for which you actually had to pay. So rethink that plan to ditch the membership because a group class may be exactly what you need.
And if you are still hesitating, then here are five solid reasons why a fitness class could be better for you than a solo workout.
1. 60 Minutes of Zero Choices
The last thing anyone wants to do at the end of a hectic workday is to make more decisions. But this is exactly what you would have to do if you are working out solo without a clear plan or purpose in mind. And this will make skipping that workout all together hugely tempting. A fitness class, on the other hand, will take that decision-making responsibility off your hands.
As Australian jewellery designer, Samantha Wills, told Huffington Post Australia, “Organised exercise, like spin classes, is definitely a way I switch off — you just have to show up and do what you are told to do — you don’t have to think about it! I appreciate that!”
2. An Expert At Hand
Many people tend to wander around a fitness facility either mimicking others or casually using equipment with little thought to the purpose or safety of their workout. Group classes enjoy the advantage of having a trained professional to answer your questions during and after class. This direct access to expert advice prevents injuries and allows you to experience a full body workout that incorporates the warm-up, cool-down and stretching.
3. The Unpredictability
You have hit on a routine that really puts the spark into your solo workout. It gives you such a high that you repeat it every single day for a whole month. Suddenly you are no longer seeing results and your shiny new sequence has become nothing more than a dull mundane routine.
Group fitness classes are designed around variety and new levels of fun while still delivering the desired results. And since instructors vary in different sessions and classes, what may seem like an identical workout on paper could be refreshingly unique depending on the teaching style.
4. The Cheerleaders…
Even if you did not join a fitness class for social reasons, you should not underestimate the effect of group camaraderie and support. Show up at a fitness class long enough and soon your fitness comrades will not only be cheering you on but also complimenting you on the results of your hard work.
According to Cherilyn Hultquist, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Science at Kennesaw State University, women tend to exercise more when they perceive high levels of social support in their lives.
“Seeing familiar faces each class makes it more than a stale exercise environment. It becomes a community with common goals,” she said.
5. …And The Supervisors
Your cheerleaders will also act as your unofficial supervisors so you had better have a good reason for skipping a class for more than a week. Not only will your absence be noticed but you will also be called up on it. Accountability does wonders for motivation. Besides, it always feels good to know that your absence is noticed. It means you belong and that sense of belonging can be a very powerful driver.
Image credit: Evolve Wellness Center
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