There are pros and cons to each style of exercising. What’s important, whether you want to go solo or join a group fitness class, is to define what your training goals are. Do you want to be energized or do you want serenity and use exercising as a stress reliever? There are instances when working out alone will be beneficial while you can also join a group if you need community support. Let’s take a look at each type and learn how to find the fitness class that’s right for you.
Swimmers and runners usually want to train on their own because they can concentrate on the distance, their form, breathing techniques and pace. Others like to zone out while using a stair climber or treadmill, wearing headphones to listen to their favorite music. Still others are already seasoned athletes, therefore they are familiar with the routine, the equipment and the facility.
If you want to de-stress, working out alone especially outdoors not only can remove your stress but also keep you calm. If you only have a few minutes to spare, working out on your own is all right. Taking a walk in the evening, even for 10 to 15 minutes will help you wind down after a very hectic day.
Working out on your own helps you to reflect on issues that are bothering you. This short time off work allows your brain to think about some problems and often, you’ll be able to come up with solutions. This is not possible with group workouts because they can be distracting.
On the other hand, if you work out by yourself, you are not challenged. Moreover, no one is there to help you correct what you’re doing wrong. Your social interaction will be limited. After a time, going solo can be quite lonely especially since fellow gym members will think that you do not like them and that you do not want to share your experience or knowledge.
When you exercise with a group, you’ll meet many people and can share many interests. You have a trained instructor to lead you, address your concerns and answer your questions after your session. You’ll feel motivated and benefit from the experience and knowledge of more advanced group members.
Classes are great for those you want to have positivity and energy, as exercising with other people makes you feel more energetic and lifted after a group session.
You can push your physical endurance to the limit by being competitive. The buddy system, especially if your friend is fitter than you can push you to work harder to be stronger and faster than your exercise mate. In some other instances, music is also an integral part of the group fitness class atmosphere, with movements being performed at a certain beat or in tune with the flow of sound.
If your fitness goal is to lose weight and keep it from coming back, group classes are better because you can monitor and support each other as your goal is the same. If you workout with a group, you are likely to stay on the weight-loss program, which increases the completion rate. Community or peer support motivates you.
If you are naturally sociable, you’ll fare well in group classes. Even if you feel exhausted when you go to class, you’ll feel motivated as soon as you join your group. You feel accountable. Joining a group fitness class allows you to bond with your fellow exercisers and their constant support and some good-natured teasing normally motivates you to improve your fitness level.
Of course, being in a group fitness class also has some downside. You may feel isolated from the group if your progress is slower than the rest. There are some who will feel the pressure of not being able to afford the latest style of gym wear. There may be cliques that already exist, and it can be difficult if you are not part of that mini-group.
However, overall, group fitness is socially rewarding. It allows you to meet other people. You share in the fun, the jokes and laughter. You may even find lifelong friends in the process. You can rely on your buddies and the instructor to go through the program and push each other to achieve the best form possible.