Why choose group exercise over doing it alone?

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Okay, so promo alert – this is about encouraging people along to Move Happy classes – but it’s also a little bit about the reasons and science on why any group exercise is such a reliable way to keep us moving!

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the odd run. On my own. There’s nothing like popping in the headphones, shutting the front door behind me, and leaving whatever needs to be done at home to wait for another half an hour.

But for me, if that run is not out of the way early – or at least done by lunch time – it’s just not happening. As I move through the day my brain creates more reasons not to get my trainers on, and almost anything else seems preferable instead. Suddenly it’s 7.30pm and the kids are in bed, but I am tired, hungry and have no desire to pound the pavements or head towards the fields on my own as the sun starts to go down.

This is just one of the reasons I LOVE Group Exercise. You book it in and you get it done, whatever time of day. It might be a class or maybe a cycle or run with a friend, but it’s a commitment and something to structure your time around. The opt out is far less likely to happen as there is a different level of motivation and accountability, and suddenly it’s about more than just you and your own day.  It’s also proven that the healthy habits of others can rub off on the individual and really have a positive influence.

Studies have also shown that exercising in a group can significantly reduce stress and improve quality of life in contrast to those people working out alone, who have to put in more effort to do so, yet don’t report the same mental and emotional benefits.

And Group Exercise really is about taking a mental and emotional approach to health as well as the physical. It’s about the positive support and encouragement between those meeting up to get moving. I love being at a class and seeing participants coming together as they take on something new, maybe a challenging move, a different routine, or how to use a piece of kit.  They support and lift each other up the whole time, through their words, body language, or just by being together. The stats show that women gravitate towards group exercise far more than men. Women report doing it for the social aspect as it’s a good way to meet new people, and I believe it is because we really thrive in that group environment and can offer each other so much. 

We also love a good chat! Last Sunday after class, women who hadn’t met before suddenly had something in common (kettlebells!) and then went on to talk about how and when they like to train, what their weeks look like at the moment, and the different new challenges with life, work, kids. All with a smile and positivity towards each other.

No wonder, as Group Exercise also means extra happy hormones! An Oxford University study suggested that working out in a group boosts the level of the feel-good endorphins naturally released during physical activity. So that’s even more bang for your buck, compared to working out alone.

Finally and crucially, if its a class you choose, you’ve got a qualified expert working with you to keep you motivated, reduce risk of injury and ensure you’re still smiling at the end. 

So what’s not to love?? If it’s been a while, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve never done it before, its never too late to start. I am passionate about women getting their trainers on and getting moving, whether it is with me or in any way that suits them.

So find a class or someone to move with, and just see what happens if you book it in!

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