One hundred and fifty minutes — that’s how much moderate exercise you should be logging each week.
Of course, that’s not the norm for most adults. According to the American Heart Association, only one-in-five of us gets that amount of physical activity.
If you’re looking to change that statistic, we say don’t sweat it out solo. Instead, read on to learn more about the benefits of group workouts.
1. Group Workouts Keep You Committed
When you sign up for a group workout, you’re more likely to stick to your exercise plan.
There are multiple reasons for this. For one thing, signing up for a group workout locks you into the session, especially if there’s a no-cancellation or no-show policy.
Perhaps more importantly though, working out with friends makes you feel obligated to attend the workouts for which you’ve enrolled. These can be your friends from daily life or pals you meet in your sweat sessions. Either way, knowing they’ll be there will keep you accountable for your workouts, too.
2. Group Workouts Push Your Limits
Another one of the benefits of group exercise is the motivation created by fellow attendees. This advantage is thanks to a pattern called the Kohler Effect, which says that no one wants to be the weakest in a group. So, everyone will work their hardest not to come in last.
Now, not all workout sessions have rankings or competitions. But something as simple as holding a plank next to a workout buddy can have you holding it for longer. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology uncovered as much.
Exercising with a group can help you increase your intensity while you exercise as well. It can also boost the amount of time you spend sweating. If you find yourself skipping out after just a few minutes in the gym, then exercise groups could help you finish a full session.
3. Group Workouts Fight Stress
In general, exercise helps you to ward off stress. If you’ve ever sweated it out, you know how it feels. You focus on the workout in front of you, and the anxieties that usually run through your mind start to fade away.
Studies have shown that group workouts have the same effect. In fact, one study revisited participants once every four weeks for a total of a dozen weeks. Those enlisted in group workouts reported feeling much lower levels of perceived stress.
4. Group Workouts Boost Endorphins
This benefit goes hand in hand with stress relief. As you exercise, your brain produces more endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel good. Such positive vibes ward off stress, but really they just make you feel better overall.
And if exercising on your own will give you an endorphin boost — just think about the famed runner’s high that marathoners get. However, working out with a group gives you more chances to enhance your brain’s endorphin production.
Firstly, a social setting allows you to smile more. As you grin at those working out with you, your brain will start to make more endorphins — yes, just because you’re smiling.
On top of that, you’ll get the endorphins from physical activity, too. All feel-good neurotransmitters combined will help fuel you through a tough workout. A good mood can get you through anything, after all.
5. Group Workouts Give You Confidence
Let’s face it — going to the gym can sometimes be an intimidating experience. You may feel shy about trying out a new move or a novel machine with a perceived audience surrounding you.
In a group workout, you’ll have guidance from an instructor who will help you master your form. They’ll cheer you on and empower you, too.
Plus, if you and a group of exercisers are all performing the same moves, you won’t feel weird trying something new. Instead, you’ll feel bolstered by your workout buddies. Some group exercisers gain confidence and inspiration from classmates who have mastered the workout of the day.
6. Group Workouts Spice Things Up
If you worked out solo, would you know how to switch up your routine?
Attending a group workout all but guarantees you’ll get something different every time. Even if the theme of the class stays the same, your instructor won’t show up with the same moves each week. They’d get bored of it, and so would you.
Variety is key to results when it comes to working out. Performing new moves can bust you out of a plateau or awaken muscles you haven’t yet touched with your go-to routine.
On top of that, working out with others allows you to perform partner and group moves. For instance, an exercise buddy can hold your feet so that your sit-ups come straight from your abs. Clearly, you’d benefit from such a support system.
7. Group Workouts Motivate You
We’ve already talked about the competitive motivational aspect. However, group workouts have more to offer than just a contest.
When you attend a group workout, you’re likely to walk into a supportive environment. Your instructor will cheer for you at the front of the class. Some will share inspirational stories and thoughts to push you through your workout routine.
Plus, your co-exercisers will clap and cheer as they get into the routine. Who knows? Maybe you’ll contribute to that supportive din, too.
Regardless of your propensity to whoop and holler, you’ll get plenty of motivation from the positive environment in which group workouts happen.
Give Group Workouts a Go
Chances are, you’re starting to believe in the beauty of group workouts. You may even want to try one for yourself.
If so, you’re in luck — group exercise is our specialty.
You can try a workout with us for free. In a single session, you’ll reap these benefits and feel pretty great about completing a tough workout to boot.