Do you find it hard to stay motivated with your exercise regime? Do you start with great intentions, wanting to succeed, but easily lose your initial drive?
Yes…then Group-Ex could be the answer!
We hear this all the time. ‘I will start doing classes when I’m fitter!’ But why? The fantastic thing about Group-Ex is that it is for everyone and every fitness level.
Group exercise is a journey to getting you fitter and offers a variety of benefits you may miss out on if you choose to work out on your own.
People who take part in group exercise stay motivated and a higher percentage of participants achieve their personal health and fitness goals. Instructors (and fellow class attendees) encouragement and support surrounds you with inspiration to dig deeper and push harder. You also tend to get a complete workout in class, as opposed to in the gym, where working out on your own makes it easier to skip exercises. Group-ex classes encourage you to carry on going to the end without cutting corners.
Sociable & fun
If you like to be around others, you will probably enjoy the social aspect of group-ex classes. These fun sessions provide you with the opportunity to meet new people and cultivate new friendships. And an added benefit is an opportunity to share workout tips and nutrition advice. Working out with others ensures you are more committed to attend each session.
Safe & effective structure
An appropriately designed class includes a warm up, cool down and flexibility in addition to the main class content. When people exercise on their own they often skip important elements of their workout, such as flexibility and cooling down, as it adds on time and they tend to know less about the benefits of these elements. Equally they can be fairly boring! With an instructor on hand in every class they can ensure every move is executed properly and in the right order of course! Proper form is vital to ensure you get the best workout for your muscles and body to reap the rewards of taking part, but is also hugely important to prevent injury.
What class should I choose?
It is an over-used cliché but when it comes to Group-Ex, there really is something out there to suit all ages, abilities and tastes.
There are no hard and fast rules about what will suit you (but my advice is to suck it up and see by trying a variety of classes!) Generally speaking though, sessions such as Body Conditioning, BodyPump, BLT, Zumba, Clubbercise or Spin type classes seem to be popular with those new to exercise, with participants starting off at a lower intensity or using lower weights.
For those looking for a more ‘intense’ experience, classes designed to increase the body’s metabolic rate such as Insanity and H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) are great. Instructors usually offer adaptions for exercises and alternative work/rest ratios as an individual progresses. Non-contact Boxfit, Boxercise and BodyCombat classes, that incorporate punching and kicking techniques, might be another option – they provide a fantastic cardiovascular workout.
However, if you prefer a less intense class and a calmer approach to exercise, classes such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi might be your thing. These classes bring mind and body together, improving posture, strength and flexibility. PiYo combines both Pilates and Yoga and will take a participants training to the next level in terms of core strength and flexibility.
Also, particularly during summer months, don’t forget that there are an increasing number of outdoor Group-Ex classes available ranging from park boot camps to open air hula hooping.
Breaking down time barriers
The variety, volume and popularity of Group-Ex sessions now available means that options run at most times of the day and night, enabling time pushed people to find a slot that suits and helps you to stick to it. Also, as sessions are structured around clearly defined timings – from 20minute HIIT sessions to 60 minute Pilates classes – people can choose a level of time commitment that suits.