Focus on Fitness: The benefits of group exercise

Leigh Rushton/For Steamboat Today

Growing up, we loved to get together to play with our friends. As adults, we still enjoy being active with friends but do not always feel like we have the time or opportunities to do so. Group exercise provides us with an opportunity to feel young again and be physically active with others.

Group exercise is led by an instructor and is described as exercise performed by a group of individuals. Local gyms and recreation centers offer a variety of group exercise formats, including, but not limited to:

• Les Mills BodyPump ™

• Yoga

• Spin

• Fit for Life

• Zumba

• Step

• Pilates

• Power/Balance/Strength

• Water Fitness

• Spin/Yoga

• Spin Fit


Group exercise offers a variety of benefits you might miss if you choose to work out on your own. Some of the benefits include:

• Exposure to a social and fun environment.

• A safe and effectively designed workout.

• A consistent exercise schedule.

• An accountability factor for participating in exercise.

• A workout that requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience.

A common reason given for quitting an exercise program is boredom. A variety of class formats will keep you motivated and interested, as well as give you different instructor styles, music selection and interaction with other participants. For many, an hour-long workout goes by very quickly when there is music playing and you are trying new exercises in a social atmosphere.

An exercise class structured with a purpose can be especially beneficial if you have limited knowledge about safe and effective exercise programming. A properly designed class has the appropriate warm-up, conditioning section and cool-down. If you exercise on your own, you might skip portions of a workout that you know little about or do not enjoy performing.

Most people know exercise is good for them and want to begin exercising. However, you may not know the first step to take. Group exercise offers a workout for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. You do not need to know how to develop a safe and effective workout or know which machines to use or for how long — it is already done for your. Simply show up with a positive attitude, participate and, most importantly, have fun. Come enjoy the benefits of group exercise at your local recreation center today!

Leigh Rushton is group fitness instructor at Old Town Hot Springs.

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