Fitness for Beginners
Don't Go It Alone — The Benefits of Group Exercise
Waking up to jog before the break of dawn. Trudging to the gym after a long day at the office. Facing that hill (you know the one) with nothing but your aching calves to keep you company.
Getting fit can be lonely, especially when you’re just getting started. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Working out with a friend (or in a group) is a great motivator.
That’s what the pros say. When asked what exercise method they recommend most often for people staring a new fitness routine, 48% of the personal trainers and instructors who took part in the recent Vibram FiveFingers Fitness Survey said group exercise classes. And 53% of these experts say classes are the most popular type of workout among beginners.
Stacey Lei Krauss, exercise guru and Vibram FiveFingers Fitness Adviser, counts herself among them.
“Group classes lead to retention – for a number of important reasons,” Krauss professes. And here they are…
1. Group exercise classes are lead by someone you can trust as an expert.
2. The leader creates an environment with “rules”, direction, and a clear plan.
3. Classes are typically more entertaining, making time pass quicker than a solo workout.
4. They give you an “appointment”, making it harder to bail out.
5. You become part of a close-knit community that sweats, aches and achieves together.
6. You can “hide” in the beginning, relieving any self-imposed anxiety or pressure.
7. You have an opportunity to bring a workout partner or make new friends.
If group exercise classes aren’t your thing, 65% of trainers point to themselves as the most valuable resource for a new or returning exerciser.
No, they’re not trying to drum up business. They believe strongly that the planning and motivation a professional provides is the best way to keep you on track.
Not ready to pony up the cash for a trainer? 62% of trainers suggest turning to friends and family as a valuable support system.
As Krauss puts it, “Seek out a friend who will join you [on walks, runs or trips to the gym] – so that you are depending on each other, and are less likely to skip a workout.”
You can even find exercise allies sitting alone in front of your laptop. And 60% of instructors believe online exercise communities and forums are some of the most useful resources for the rookie workout warrior.
Think of it as power in numbers, confidence in numbers or accountability in numbers. Or call it a misery-loves-company thing. However you choose to look at it, just know that leaning on others for support helps pave a smoother road toward a healthier, fitter chapter of your life.
Source: 2011 Vibram Five Finger Fitness Survey.