It’s inevitable. We see this all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston: Eager exercisers start out with their fitness routines fully in tact. Whether its a plan to get up extra-early to run a few miles, stop by the gym after work to lift weights or vow to ride several miles over the weekend, what starts as a solid routine ends up fizzling out…slowly but surely. This is totally common and it’s happened to the best of us. Things come up, we get busy. We get sick. We are simply too tired to get out of bed. There are endless reasons why perfectly well-intentioned workout plans lay by the wayside.
But that is where group fitness comes in. We at DUFF truly love our classes and it’s not just because we love to sweat on a regular basis. It turns out that there is a reason why exercising in groups pays off.
According to active.com, “Many people who attend a class will show up exhausted from the ups and downs of everyday life. But once they join the group, they become re-energized. With a friendly fitness instructor there to light a fire under you rear, it can’t get any better…Joining a workout group can keep you motivated, hold you accountable and help you develop a sense of group camaraderie.”
And beyond forming new friendships at the gym, exercising with others actually makes us work out better. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “When people exercise on their own, they often skip portions of a workout they know less about or are not their favorite to perform. Furthermore, the fitness professional is not only designing the components of the workout, but also the intensity, so the class is designed appropriately to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. The fitness professional can also serve as a resource for class participants and encourage them to engage in other healthy behaviors outside of class.”
And this goes into accountability as well. According to livestrong.com, “A group exercise setting helps keep you accountable to attend the class. When the instructor and other participants ask why you were absent, they generally are concerned for your well-being, and you will not want to have an “I sat on the couch” answer. If you are required to prepay for a group class, your accountability also increases. You have a limited number of classes that you paid for and are more likely to attend.”
And when you’re at the gym with others in a group, you will be more likely to try harder. According to Men’s Journal, “Or maybe [people] have realized they’re less likely to punt on that last set when there’s a roomful of witnesses. Psychologists dub this the Köhler effect: No one wants to be the weak link, so we instinctively strive to keep up.”
So next time you feel the urge to sleep in, make a plan with a buddy to attend one of our awesome group fitness classes. Not only will you have check off the box for being social, you’ll feel motivated, work out harder, and make some new friends in the mix!