Gear Up With Group Fitness

Does this routine sound familiar? Your workday ends. You think of 10 highly convincing reasons to skip the gym. You debate the potential for a quick escape even as you swipe your gym card. Ultimately, you wind up on a treadmill (yet again), counting down the minutes until your walk on the “boredom express to nowhere” will be over.

Sounds like it’s time to shake things up, sister! If not, you’re going to end up avoiding working out altogether, never achieving the results you want. Fitness expert Desiree Bartlett says instead of going solo, group fitness is the secret to staying motivated, inspired and in great shape. Check out her reasons why.

Group Fitness is associated with greater exercise adherence rates. In other words, if you workout in a group setting, you are more likely to go to the gym and workout! There have been many studies done on this, and researchers generally attribute this to a few different factors:

1. Social support: Group classes are a great place to meet up with current friends and meet new ones. Having the support of a friendly face to workout with is great. Also, many people make a fitness date with a friend. If you know that you have a friend waiting for you to come to class, you are more likely to show up and have fun.

2. Cost: Group Fitness classes are much cheaper than a private training session, which can be an important factor in going to work out.

3. Exercising with others: Whenever there is physical movement in a room, there is kinetic energy being generated. This is the energy of physical movement. The same is true for group fitness classes as is for a dance club. This contributes to a party-like atmosphere, because the energy is contagious. Especially, if there's good music!

All of these factors lead to greater inspiration because in addition to the above, you can get amazing results. If you workout at least 3 days a week in a group fitness class, depending on your heart rate and diet, you can expect to lose up to 2 pounds a week. I love Sculpting classes like those taught at Equinox and Crunch as well as Core Fusion. Core Fusion is a combination of a few styles of movement and leads to a longer, leaner more streamlined physique.

Get geared up with a group!

The next time you try and talk yourself out of another boring workout, find strength in numbers with group fitness. If your gym doesn’t offer classes at a time that works for you, see if they’ll add one to the schedule if you can guarantee a group to attend. Or, make a weekly “date” with friends to do a class, followed by a healthy dinner. Even look into personal training sessions you can split the cost of with a buddy.

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Desirée Bartlett M.S., CPT, has been teaching health and wellness for over 16 years. Desirée holds advanced certifications in Yoga, Personal Training, and Group Fitness. She is also a continuing education provider through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Council for Personal Trainers. Desirée's inspiring and unique classes have been featured on networks such as ABC, Univision and Lifetime. In 2005, Desirée was named ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. In that same year, she helped open Equinox Fitness in Santa Monica as their Group Fitness Manager. Desirée’s innovative approach to teaching is to tap into one’s inner joy, and let movement be an outward expression of that inner state. She is currently working on bilingual Yoga both in English and Spanish, as well as Fitness and Dance media.

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