I took my first group fitness class my senior year of college, back in 2003 (it was my last semester of college, and I had to find something in addition to my thesis to keep me a full time student – so I took aerobic dance two days a week. Yes, I got an “A”). If you’d asked me then, I never would have thought that five years later, I would ever be leading a class myself. But becoming a fitness instructor has absolutely proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
There are so many great reasons to take a group fitness class. So, why should you hit the studio?
- Strength in numbers. Everyone in the class is trying to accomplish the same thing – to make it through to the end. You may have different end goals, but for that hour, everyone is striving to get stronger ,tougher, and better … together!
- Built in motivation. Instructors take pride in keeping their classes fun! Don’t be afraid to get into the choreography, sing along to the music, and whoop or laugh … anything that helps you have so much fun you forget that what you’re doing is tough! You’ll never find that on an elliptical, will you?
- Something to look forward to! Once you find a class you like, you’ll find that you’ll connect with your instructor or fellow classmates – take a week or two off from class, and we do notice … we miss you! You’ll not only improve your health and fitness, but you’ll make some friends along the way.
Most health clubs offer a variety of classes throughout the week (many post class schedules on their websites and outside of the studio), and many community centers and colleges offer classes on a regular basis. Yoga and Pilates studios have become very common, and indoor cycling studios are starting to pop up as well. The key is to find a class that you enjoy and helps bring you closer to achieving your fitness goals. As with anything fitness related, the more different types of classes you take, the better – it counts as cross training (for example, in addition to my regular cardio and weight workouts, I teach Pilates – which is based in building core strength and flexibility, Spinning – which is cardio based, and Piloxing – which is interval based cardio/core strength).
I read a great article the other day about one woman’s journey to becoming what I call a group fitness junkie – it was actually the motivation for this post. You can read it here.