4 Reasons to Choose Group Exercise

I know that it can be a pain to get up early and register for an exercise class. We have all been there, on a Monday morning, squinting at our phones in the darkness trying to register for Muscle Conditioning later that week at the CRP. Sometimes you have to wonder why do we do it? What makes us keep coming back when it is much easier to just pick up a few weights and go through some exercises on our own?

Well, you don’t have to look far into the research to see why. In the past 3-5 years, a mountain of research has highlighted one very interesting fact about activity; people just feel better when they exercise in groups. It has been repeatedly found that the benefits from group fitness outweigh the benefits of exercising on your own. But before you take out your earbuds and step off the treadmill, take a quick look and see for yourself:

1)      It just makes you happy! – Research has found time and time again that exercise in general is at least as effective as most anti-depressants. However, when researchers look at group fitness programs, they have found something very interesting. Those individuals who exercise in group programs report even higher levels of happiness and enjoyment than people who exercise on their own.

2)      More Confident – Researchers have found groups of women attending regular Pilates classes consistently felt more confident about their physical appearance than peers who completed Pilates exercises on their own.

3)      Feel More Connected – In other studies, researchers found that participants in community exercise classes felt “more connected with others,” and more social compared to those exercising independently.

4)       You keep doing it! – Researchers have also looked into adherence rates of people who participate in community exercise groups vs. independent exercisers.  They have found that those who participate in regular community classes have lower dropout rates than people who exercise independently.

Who doesn’t want to feel more happy, confident, connected, and successful at achieving your goals?!?  So the next time you wonder what those women are doing in Zumba class, think about taking a class yourself. Chances are you’ll bump into someone with similar fitness goals who can help you succeed. At the very least, you will have someone to commiserate with when you are doing your front and side planks!!!

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Diana grew up in a small suburb north of Boston. She received her clinical doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Boston University in 2006. Diana started practicing as a physical therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MGH, she developed a specialty in the evaluation and treatment of complex lumbopelvic dysfunction. Diana is currently practicing at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston where she is the Orthopedic Clinical Supervisor of the Spine program. She is presently a Boston resident and her interests outside physical therapy include cooking, walking on the Esplanade, and international travel.

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