For some of us, exercise isn’t hard—it is staying motivated that is the most difficult. If you’ve fallen prey to a lack of motivation, then you might consider giving up the solo treadmill runs and investing your time in a group exercise class or more organized sports. Studies have shown that people who exercise in a group stay in better shape and are less likely to skip their workouts. Read on to learn a little more about why organized exercise classes are the best method for achieving your fitness goals:

 

via self.com

via self.com

Accountability

If you’re a particularly competitive person, showing up to a class to “compete” with other people in your class might be all the motivation you need. If you could care less about winning, then maybe paying for something will encourage you to go just to get your money’s worth. According to a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Sport Science at Kennesaw State University, women exercise more when they have a high level of social support in their lives. This makes exercise more than exercise; it becomes a community.

 

You’ll be in Better Shape

You don’t have to attend classes to be in great shape, but having a knowledgeable person design your workout can go a long way towards helping you meet your goals. With an instructor, you’re going to get the proper balance of cardiovascular activity and strength training. When you exercise on your own, you’re more likely to find something you like and stick with just that activity. A group class will vary your routine and challenge you more than dictating your own workout.

 

You’re less likely to Get Injured

A group class is broken down into a warm-up, the workout, and a cool down, with a variation of exercise thrown in. According to the professionals at Ohio University who provide a masters in coaching and athletic administration, you might be more prone to skipping a warm up or working on your flexibility if you’re exercising on your own. In a group, you can’t skip any of this stuff, giving you a well-rounded workout. You’ll also be taught proper form and modifications for any pre-existing issues you might have, which will help you avoid injuries and enjoy a safe workout.

 

It’s Good For You

Research has shown that group exercise triggers a chemical to be released in the brain that gives us the same feelings as laughing or dancing. Research from Oxford’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology showed that rowers who worked out with their teammates had the same endorphin released as “runner’s high”, meaning they had a better sense of well-being and a higher pain threshold.

 

Before you head out for that run by yourself or pop that workout DVD in, consider joining a class or group for a little extra motivation. Not only will you be held accountable, but you’ll have a safe workout and see your fitness goals through to the end.

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