Think back to some of your best memories of being active during childhood or adolescence. Did it involve being together with friends, family members, or teammates? As we get older, we still thrive on socialization, but don’t always have the time or opportunities to do so. Exercise itself carries a multitude of benefits for your overall well-being, but exercising with a group? You could be gaining a lot more than if you choose to work out on your own.
Popularity of group exercise has been increasing rapidly over the last 20 years for more reasons than one, proving that there truly is ‘strength in numbers.’ Aside from some of the obvious benefits such as camaraderie and accountability, there are some other upsides to working out with a group that you may not have considered:
Variety. Attending a studio with a multitude of class formats will keep you motivated with varying instructor styles and interaction with different participants. And there’s variety in fitness levels, too. Coming to a group exercise class allows everyone to participate in the same workout, which the instructor can tailor to all fitness levels. What’s that they say about variety being the spice of life?
The endorphin rush does more than just make you feel invigorated. A recent study showed that individuals who exercised in groups had a higher pain tolerance than those who went at it alone. The release of endorphins was shown to be at an increased level among individuals who were in sync (participating in the same exercise) with one another. This phenomenon, called ‘behavioral synchrony,’ has also been shown to improve physical performance.
OK...we’re not done talking about endorphins. Did you know that even the simple act of smiling has been shown to increase those feel-good hormones? So, when your instructor cracks a joke - give them the confidence that someone appreciates their humor, and give yourself some feel-good juice at the same time! Positive vibes can spread like wildfire.
A little healthy competition can’t hurt either, right? It’s been shown that people who exercise with those who they perceived as ‘more advanced’ increased their exercise intensity by 200%. This is an example of the Kohler Effect, which is the idea that no one wants to be the weakest link in a group setting. It’s important, though, to know your limits -- remember that it’s your workout and always listen to your body.
Have a high-stress lifestyle or job? In a recent study, researchers found that individuals who exercised with a group saw greater improvements in quality of life and stress levels in a shorter amount of time than those who exercised alone. Done and done!
Exercising on a time constraint? When you need to break a sweat in a short amount of time (let’s be honest, there’s always something to do or somewhere to be), coming to a group exercise class ensures you’re given a safe, effective workout in the specified amount of time. At CADENCE, we offer plenty of parking and everything you need to get in and out quickly. Plus, with pre-class registration, you can be sure to secure a spot in the class well before arrival.
Regardless of what type of exercise you choose, remember that some is better than none, and that more is generally better. The important thing is that you find something that is enjoyable to you, and that can create consistency. CADENCE, opening in April 2018, will offer group indoor cycling and fitness classes, along with small group training programs.