We all know that in order to establish lifelong fitness, we need to find a workout or workouts that we like and consistently do them. More and more studies are showing that it isn’t as important what type of workout you do. What’s important is that you DO SOMETHING and do it regularly. Don’t listen to people who say that one workout is better than another. Maybe that certain workout is better for THEM, but if you don’t like it, it’s not for you. Don’t be confused by what you see on social media. You will see all kinds of workouts and varying fitness information, but no matter what you see, the best exercise is the one you will actually do…long term.
With all that being said, I thought I’d share my very favorite way to workout. It should come as no surprise, but group fitness rocks my world. I LOVE it so much and not only because I teach it. Of course, I totally love teaching it, but I love being a participant, too. There is just nothing like it. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy solitary workouts. I either run or do HIIT training alone once or twice a week. Running by myself clears my mind and, as a dance fitness choreographer, I do my best choreographing in my head while I’m running. Go figure. Still and all, group exercise is special and my favorite.
I love walking in the door, seeing familiar faces, and being greeted immediately each class. I get a sense of what Norm on “Cheers” must have felt when he walked in the bar and was greeted with a loud “Norm!” each day. As you get to know the people around you, friendships form. Some of my best friendships have come from a group fitness class. I love how the people in class become a family and look out for each other. I know many people in my classes text each other or send Facebook messages when a fellow class member is absent. We care about each other and that’s not typically something that forms in the cardio room on treadmills.
I’m much less likely to skip a workout when I know my fellow class members will be there and wonder where I am. It definitely makes it easier to be consistent when I have that built in accountability.
In a group fitness class, you push yourself more than you might otherwise. When we exercise on our own, it’s easier to stop when we probably could go a little harder and a little longer. When your instructor is pushing and challenging you, it’s easier to continue on when you really want to quit.
I feel a sense of camaraderie in class that I don’t get elsewhere. We are in the fight together. We struggle, groan and hurt together. These are my fellow warriors. My people! We laugh together, like today when I went face first into my mat while trying to hold a difficult pose in yoga class. Thanks to my friend, Holly, for lightening the mood with “She’s going down!” as it happened. We bond over our soreness and encourage each other to keep going. It’s comforting to have my buddies with me, working hard, enduring the pain and getting through even the toughest workouts together. It’s a bonding experience and I always leave feeling accomplished, empowered and just a little better than before.
I also learn from group fitness. If you have a good instructor, he or she is constantly educating you on fitness and health and keeping you updated on the latest research and information. Also, class members share great information with each other. We swap everything from recipes and diet tips to what stores are having great sales on workout clothes. I’m constantly learning from people in my classes and it’s awesome.
Just writing this has me excited about my class tomorrow. I’m ready for a little bit of socializing and whole lot of hard work with my fellow workout warriors. If you’ve never tried a fitness class, I encourage you to give it a shot. It will change more than your backside. It could change your life.
All photos taken at the Waco Family YMCA. For membership information, click here.