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Group Fitness and Why It Works

Exercising in a group can be fun, challenging and personally motivating.

We all know the benefits of exercise—both body and mind. But did you know group exercise often leads to better results?

Experts from AOL Health and Everyday Health agree that group exercise provides support, structure and accountability. Exercising in a group can be fun, challenging and personally motivating.

Patient information in the Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants recommends that people exercise with either a group or a partner because they “are more likely to stay on track.”

As outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine, benefits of group fitness include a “social environment, safe and productive design, consistent schedule, accountability for participation and beginner-friendly experience.” These factors contribute to “increased regimen adherence and retention,” according to the Medical Fitness Association.

Another benefit of group exercise is a potentially tougher workout and more well-rounded exercise routine, with an instructor encouraging members of the group to push themselves.

Fitness classes are also a great way to meet people in your community.

Typically, your local fitness center, gym or YMCA will offer classes for all fitness levels. Try high-energy aerobics, indoor cycling, kickboxing, spinning and Zumba for cardiovascular endurance.  Zumba is a dynamic, fun, cardio-based workout of dancing to a fusion of Latin and international music.

Zumba Plus is a traditional Zumba class that also incorporates weight training and quick interval exercises. Zumba Gold is a great option for beginners or for those looking for a modified/lighter Latin dance cardio class.

Stretching, Tai Chi or yoga classes are good options for increasing flexibility and mind-body improvement.  Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese form of exercise that uses graceful movement and breathing techniques to improve posture, coordination and circulation. Tai Chi may also be taught in chairs.

Small group training usually includes classes such as kettlebell and cycling/running.

According to Women's Health, kettlebells make traditional dumbbell moves more challenging, and working out with cast-iron kettlebells will add definition to your shoulders and back.

Other small group options are chair yoga and water group exercise classes such as deep H2O run and yoqua.

Whichever group exercise you select—from Zumba and step aerobics to yoga and indoor cycling—you won’t be bored with the variety of options available at today’s fitness centers.

Group fitness classes are offered at Riverside Fitness in Hackettstown, as well as several other local studios and gyms.

Had a group fitness experience you'd like to share? Tell us about it in the comments.

Deborah Anne Weber May 13, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Crossfit. Beats the crap out of everything else. Except maybe olifting :-) REDSHED!
Phil May 14, 2013 at 10:04 PM
I have been a gym goer since being a teen and only recently when a friend suggested joining a group type fitness class have I for the first time felt personally challenged, a sense of belonging to a community of people that all share the same goal, to be stronger, fitter and support one another in achieving this common goal. ACTIVATE FITNESS in Hackettstown NJ is a dynamic training experience for me, no headphones required, just the desire to better yourself. Everytime I workout I feel challenged and improvement, just sorry I wasted my time and money as a number at the local static gym.....never again.
Wendy V. May 15, 2013 at 01:56 AM
After doing the $10 month thing for a couple of years and being bored to tears, I answered a Facebook contest from Activate Fitness. I was terrified to go, thinking I couldn't do it, people would laugh at me. Boy, was I wrong! I was welcomed and encouraged my very first time. I have never felt more comfortable during a workout than I have here. Everyone works towards a common goal, no judging, just encouragement, committment and hard work. The workouts are always different and challenging. You just get better and better with each workout. We all celebrate our accomplishments. We are friends. I highly recommend group fitness training. You won't regret it.
Holly Veno May 15, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I tried the solo gym thing and it never worked for me. I would be bored and unmotivated. I joined Activate Fitness in Hackettstown in March and I love it. There is a sense of community, of belonging, support, and challenge that you don't you get on your own. And while you do work in the group, everyone goes at their own pace. I highly recommend Activate Fitness. It will be one of the best things that you can do for yourself.

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