Do you enjoy going alone to the gym, the road, or the trail?
Or do you enjoy the syncopated breathing, moving, and toning in a crowded group exercise class?
No matter what form of exercise you prefer, there are no drawbacks to maintaining a healthy weight, especially when so many Americans fall short of the recommended daily amounts of activity, according to a trusted source.
But according to a study, if you exercise alone, you might be missing out on some of the health advantages of group exercise.
Table of Contents
What is group exercise?
We’re going to quickly go through the definition of group exercise so that you are fully informed before we get into the benefits of group fitness programs.
We’ll go through it nevertheless, even though it’s possible that you already have a good sense of what it entails.
The phrase essentially refers to any sort of exercise that is done with a group, no matter how big or small.
It can refer to any form of physical activity, including football or netball teams as well as H.I.I.T. training, Pilates, and spinning.
Feel free to look at the group exercise study that we conducted before looking at the nine advantages of this exercise style!
This should give you a better understanding of the subject and help you understand how and why it has become more popular in recent years.
Group exercise benefits
Social Benefits of Group Exercise
1. Make new friends
You will meet new people in group workout courses, and you might even make some new friends, which is the main social advantage of taking them.
A class is an ideal way to get past a barrier that prevents some people from exercising because they are uncomfortable exercising alone.
Even though you might go to the class alone, once you get there, you’re surrounded by other individuals who share your interests, which is a wonderful social benefit.
For instance, if you attend a Zumba class, you’ll meet others who share your passion for dancing.
It’s unquestionably a terrific way to meet new people who have interests in the same things as you.
2. Improve and utilize your social skills
The chance to hone and use your social skills while participating in group exercise is another fantastic social benefit.
Depending on the kind of exercise you do, abilities like teamwork, leadership, and communication might be put to use.
Mental Benefits of Group Exercise
3. Reduces stress
Reducing stress is a key mental advantage of group exercise. Stress levels are quite high, especially in modern culture where we have a lot to manage.
Work is one of the main factors that contribute to high-stress levels, so taking a break to unwind can help you relax and lower your stress levels.
High levels of stress over time can cause health issues like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or mental health issues.
Additionally, if you are overweight and attempting to lose weight, high levels of stress may be getting in the way of your accomplishment.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress and controls a number of bodily functions, including your immune system and metabolism.
However, too much cortisol, like in the case of high-stress levels, can lead to weight gain, especially in the middle.
Additionally, sustained high amounts of cortisol raise blood sugar levels, increasing your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
4. Boosts motivation
Finding the drive to work out can occasionally be challenging, especially in the winter when it’s chilly, dark, and possibly raining.
After a long day at work, it might be challenging to push yourself out of bed early or go to the gym.
You can get the inspiration you need in group workout programs, which is one of their advantages.
It’s quite simple to decide “Ah, I’ll skip my workout today” when no one else will be disappointed.
If others, such as friends and family or even the class instructor, are counting on you to show up, it becomes much more difficult to skip class.
This relates to accountability as well because you might be held accountable by others. Your competitive nature may be heightened and you may be motivated to work even harder if you exercise with others.
Additionally, classes have predetermined start and end hours, and some gyms might need you to reserve a spot in a class ahead of time.
This is a terrific motivator because you’re more likely to stick to the schedule and go to the gym if you’ve already signed up and have a time in mind.
5. Improves self-esteem and confidence
The third mental advantage of group exercise is that it can increase self-assurance and self-esteem.
When you finish a lesson, you will feel a sense of pride that may really enhance your confidence. Exercising can offer you a sense of success.
Your self-esteem will be greatly boosted as you advance and get stronger and more physically fit over time.
For instance, you might begin with the lightest weights when you initially enroll in a weights-based class like Les Mills Body Pump.
You will soon be able to utilize heavier weights as you attend the class more frequently, and you’ll find that you can warm up with heavier weights than you once could.
Exercise also helps to improve your posture, which can boost your confidence and self-belief (again, a physical benefit!).
Physical Benefits of Group Exercise
6. Improves cardiovascular fitness
Your cardiovascular fitness can increase when you exercise in a group. There are numerous opportunities to keep you moving, including a wide variety of activities and workshops.
It stops seeming like a duty or like you “have to do it” when you find an activity that you enjoy.
And with so many options available, including sports like football and netball as well as group workout programs like aqua aerobics and Zumba, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Your likelihood of sticking with something you enjoy increases, which will boost your cardiovascular fitness.
As they say, consistency is crucial, and if you enjoy something, you’re more likely to stick with it.
Additionally, participating in group fitness might motivate you to work harder and step beyond your comfort zone.
When there are other people around you, your natural competition comes out, and you exert more effort than you might otherwise when working out alone because there is no one to compare yourself to.
7. Improves muscular endurance
Similar to increasing your cardiovascular fitness, it can also aid to increase your muscle endurance, which is one of the major physical advantages.
Group exercise can motivate you and provide you with the additional little push you need to keep going, much like it can improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Maintaining a regular schedule can help you increase your muscle endurance along with the possibility that you’ll work out in a group rather than alone.
Benefits of Group Exercise for Older Adults
8. decreases the sensation of loneliness
Among the elderly, loneliness is a prevalent problem. More than a million older individuals report they go more than a month without speaking to a friend, neighbor, or family member, according to Age UK.
Participating in group exercise offers the chance to socialize, make new friends, and meet new people. These can all be used to combat loneliness.
Additionally, endorphins and serotonin, the neurotransmitter linked to happiness, are released during exercise.
Because of this, participating in group exercise is a great way to improve your mood and can also help lessen the negative emotions and thoughts that come with loneliness.
9. offers health advantages such as a reduced chance of falls and disease prevention
There are numerous health advantages to exercising as a group as well as overall.
The ability to lower their risk of falling and to avoid disease are two of the most helpful advantages that group exercise offers to older persons.
Studies have indicated that keeping a routine of regular physical activity can aid in the prevention of a number of prevalent ailments, such as heart disease or diabetes.
Even though exercise benefits people of all ages, older folks’ immune systems are frequently weakened, making it even more crucial for them to exercise than younger generations do.
10. Capitalize on endorphins
Compared to solo workouts, groups can have a few mental advantages.
While it’s true that exercising releases endorphins (remember all the talk of runner’s highs? ), a communal environment can cause the release of endorphins independent of physical activity, according to Ford.
Smiling is one method. Studies have revealed that smiling raises endorphin levels. Therefore, this kind of camaraderie can really make you feel fantastic outside of just your runner’s high whether you’re in a terrific class or working out with a nice group of people.
Disadvantages of group exercise
1. INDIVIDUAL PROGRAMMING IS MISSING
While variation and fun may help prevent boredom, this lack of consistency from class to class may prevent you from making any progress.
A group workout may not address individual differences or shortcomings because it is designed for everyone (i.e., not just you).
For instance, a person who has had a shoulder injury in the past does the same exercise as a participant who has an ankle ailment.
Although competent instructors are fast to offer advancements and regressions for specific circumstances, it can be challenging to deal with each special circumstance.
2. INATTENTIVENESS TO FORM
There are some drawbacks to having a group of people sweating next to you for motivational purposes.
It is more challenging for teachers to monitor and assess student performance in larger classes.
This implies that there’s a strong chance no one will be around to correct you, for instance, if your form on new exercises isn’t flawless.
Although skilled instructors provide verbal and visual signals, it can be challenging for learners to master a technique, especially when utilizing new equipment.
3. OVERTRAINING OPPORTUNITY
Many boot camps and group exercise sessions share this “work till you drop” mentality. While this may encourage you to work out hard at the time, it is not a sustainable motto over time.
In fact, taking too many classes that challenge you to your absolute limits could lead to overtraining.
Since most classes have a diverse group of students, it is impossible for instructors to prepare for returning students; instead, they urge each class to perform at its highest level. Participants may eventually experience a lack of drive and a sense of listlessness.
Group exercise sessions undoubtedly have many advantages. They are significantly more pleasurable than solo travels due to the companionship and group dynamic.
Additionally, instructors have a talent for pushing you further than you would on your own. But there are certain drawbacks to be aware of for every positive.
Plan group exercise sessions combined with a structured training schedule into your schedule to get the best of both worlds.
It’s challenging to find individual coaching in a group setting. Another factor that can hinder a lifter’s improvement is the persistent “go hard” attitude.
By doing so, you’ll benefit from the group experience while also enjoying the success that comes from making the necessary progress in your own training.
Frequently asked questions
What is the negative part of an exercise called?
Eccentric refers to the “negative” portion of the movement, while concentric is the “positive”.
For example, when you do a barbell curl, the concentric portion is the lift or curl up. The eccentric portion is when the weight is lowered back to the starting position.
Are there bad exercises?
Many people will argue that there are no bad exercises, only bad execution. They have a point: Any exercise done with bad form can be bad exercise. But the exercises that are done properly and still put you at an above-average risk of injury are the ones that need to be avoided.
What is the most important of exercise?
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise prevents health problems, builds strength, boosts energy, and can help you reduce stress. It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight and curb your appetite.