Like a popular e-card says, “Anyone of your friends will go out to EAT with you. A real friend will encourage you and motivate you to workout.” Our friends, family, and the social structure around us greatly influence our lifestyle choices – whether we eat the doughnuts at the office or take a walk with colleagues during our lunch hour. The more we surround ourselves with people who consume healthy foods and are physically active the more likely we will model those positive behaviors and achieve the physical results we are seeking.
We know life is not solely about our physical needs and any approach to true health must incorporate multiple dimensions of wellness, including social aspects. Social wellness is enhanced when we workout with friends or groups of people. Group exercise classes are a terrific way to experience the energy, camaraderie, and social connections of exercising with a group of people. Tad Dunsworth, a fitness director in Minnesota, sums up why group exercise classes are popular, “I think we can say fairly safely (group exercise) has the social interaction. We are so isolated with work, social media, trials and tribulation with families, and extra time with work. But when we get a chance to be with people with similar interests … we love social interaction. It’s human nature.”
In addition to a social and fun environment, group exercise classes provide a safe and effective workout, an accountability factor for participating in exercise, and a diverse workout that prevents boredom. Many classes require no prior exercise knowledge or experience and are led by certified and knowledgeable instructors. Gym members who attend group exercise classes are 88% more likely to keep their membership and attend more often than members who only exercise on machines.
Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center offers over 90 classes per week at a multitude of time. A variety of group exercise formats exist, including (but not limited to) aerobics and Zumba®, TRX™, core conditioning, Pilates, yoga, BODYPUMP™, step, indoor cycling, kickboxing, chair fitness, and many classes in the pools. You are sure to find classes that fit your social and physical needs!
By: Kelly Pults, MS, CGFI, CPT, Aquatic Manager/Group Exercise Coordinator at Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center
Dolan, Shawn. Benefits of Group Exercise. [Internet] 2012 [cited June 2, 2016]
Spiegel, Brad. Members: Group Exercise Aids Retention. [Internet] 2014 [cited June 2, 2016] www.ihrsa.org/home/2014/7/9/members-group-exercise-aids-retention-rates.html
Wagner, Gina. Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Importance of Fitness Buddies. [Internet] 2012 [cited June 2, 2016]
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