Top 11 Proven Benefits of Attending a Fitness Class
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 53.3% of adults met these guidelines for aerobic physical activity, while 23.2% met these guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity
Many Americans don’t exercise because they’re too tired after a long day’s work or just aren’t motivated for several other reasons. Often it takes making a simple change to increase your level of activity. This might simply mean getting your exercise in before work, so you get it out of the way and start the day refreshed.
While finding motivation might include exercising in a group setting where there are others to encourage you as you work toward your fitness goals together. If you fit into either of these categories, joining a fitness class may be the right solution for you.
In addition to getting the motivation you need while having company as you reach your physical activity goals, there are many other benefits you can gain from attending fitness classes. Read on to find out what they are.
What Is Physical Exercise?
Fitness classes involve various forms of physical exercise. Exercise is any type of physical movement that works your body’s muscles. It facilitates your body’s burning of calories.
These physical activities can include dancing, swimming, walking, running, jogging, aerobic exercising, and much more. Many people choose to get their exercise by doing fitness classes at a gym.
What Are Fitness Classes?
Fitness classes involve a series of aerobic and/or strength-based exercises done in a group. It is a structured class led by a group instructor or personal trainer.
Classes often have a specific format. They center around a particular series or type of exercises, such as Zumba, Les Mills, or Spin. They usually incorporate various workouts that may include cycling, strength training, core training, or cardio exercises, or a combination of these.
Why You Should Join A Fitness Class
If you don’t consider yourself a ‘gym person’ you might be wondering ‘why join a fitness class?’ Firstly, joining is simple and it costs less than having a personal trainer and you still get a lot of the same benefits.
Meeting others in your class with similar goals that may be struggling with some of the issues you may have will help you to get motivated. This common bond will ensure members get acquainted with each other in a short period of time.
You will eventually find yourselves holding each other accountable as you get closer and learn more about each other. At the end of the day, a team environment pushes you to reach your goal, leaving no one behind.
Most importantly, sharing this experience with others makes it more fun. The combination of the music, the social atmosphere, and knowing you’re all trying to achieve something, makes a high-energy atmosphere that becomes contagious. You’re sure to leave your workout with a smile on your face.
11 Fitness Class Benefits
A fitness class can provide you with many benefits. What’s especially great about getting your daily physical activity by attending fitness classes is that the benefits are not only physical but mental and emotional as well. Fitness class advantages include:
1. Strengthens Bone and Muscles
Exercises performed during a fitness class help to build and maintain strong bones and muscles. Along with the consumption of a suitable amount of protein, physical activity can accelerate the build-up of muscles. Exercise helps muscles to absorb amino acids by releasing hormones. This diminishes muscle breakdown and helps them to grow.
Regular physical activity becomes even more important as you get older. Muscles tend to lose their functionality and mass as you age. This can lead to disabilities and increases the chance of injuries.
Regular exercise can help maintain strength and reduce muscle loss. Exercise also helps to increase bone density during your formative childhood years and helps prevent osteoporosis when you get older. You can build higher bone density by doing more high-impact exercises, such as basketball, soccer, running, or gymnastics, versus non-impact sports like cycling and swimming.
2. Increases Energy Levels
A study of 36 healthy people who reported persistent fatigue after exercising regularly over six weeks had lessened feelings of fatigue. Exercise isn’t only an energy booster for healthy people, but for those suffering from several medical conditions as well.
This is especially true for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), other severe illnesses, and progressive illnesses such as multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
3. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases are often caused by a lack of physical exercise. In the short term, it can lead to considerable increases in belly fat, which can result in a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
Compare this to cases of regular exercise, which can result in better cardiovascular fitness, insulin activity, and body composition. It also reduces blood fat and blood pressure levels.
You should do some form of physical activity every day to reduce the occurrence of belly fat as well as the risk of developing these diseases.
4. Improves Brain and Memory Health
Exercise can protect your memory and improve cognitive skills and brain function. When you exercise, your heart rate increases, which improves the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain. It also stimulates hormone production that helps brain cell growth.
Exercise can prevent you from developing a chronic disease, as mentioned before. These diseases can also affect your brain. So, by extension, it protects your brain as well.
Regular exercise is especially helpful for older adults as aging, along with stress and oxidative stress, can change the brain’s structure and function. The hippocampus of the brain, which is crucial for learning and memory, grows as a result of exercise. This improves mental function in older adults.
Exercise also lessens changes in the brain responsible for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
5. Helps Maintain Healthier Skin
Oxidative stress in your body can also affect your skin. This type of stress happens when damaged cells caused by free radicals can’t be completely repaired by the body’s antioxidant defenses. This causes damage to their internal structures, resulting in the deterioration of your skin.
Although oxidative damage can occur due to exhaustive and intense physical activity, regular moderate exercise helps protect cells because it increases the production of natural antioxidants in your body. Exercise increases blood flow, which encourages the adaptation of skin cells that can delay the appearance of aging skin.
6. Helps With Weight Loss
Lack of physical activity often results in increased weight and obesity. Your body uses energy to exercise, digest food, and maintain body functions, including breathing and keeping your heart beating. Targeting two of these energy uses can help you to lose weight.
However, when you’re dieting, you actually lower your metabolic rate because you’re reducing your calorie intake. This slows down your weight loss. Whereas regular exercise can help you to burn more calories and lose more weight because it increases your metabolic rate.
Losing fat and maintaining muscle mass are key to maintaining weight loss. You can achieve this by doing a combination of aerobic exercise along with resistance training.
7. Reduces Pain
Exercise can help reduce chronic pain, which can be debilitating. Despite the recommendation for years of inactivity and rest to treat chronic pain, studies show that exercise actually helps to relieve chronic pain. Other studies also showed that participants experienced a reduction in pain and an improvement in their quality of life as a result of exercising.
Exercise can also keep the pain as a result of certain health conditions under control, including chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, chronic lower back pain, and fibromyalgia. Interestingly, exercise can also increase a person’s tolerance for pain while decreasing their pain perception.
8. Improves Sleep Quality and Helps With Relaxation
Exercising regularly helps you to relax and improves the quality of your sleep. While you’re sleeping, your body starts the process of recuperating from the energy depletion from exercising. This process allows you to have a more restful sleep.
Your body temperature increases when you exercise. Your quality of sleep improves, as it helps your body temperature to decrease while you’re at rest. There is a 65% improvement in sleep quality after 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity every week.
Other studies also supported this and showed that exercise could also help people with insomnia sleep more deeply and for longer periods. These people reported feeling more energized during the day. Regular exercise also helps older adults who suffer from sleep disorders.
The great thing is that either aerobic exercise or a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training both help to improve sleep quality. This allows you to be more flexible with the type of exercise you choose to do.
9. Helps You to Feel Happier
Exercise can reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. It can result in an overall improvement of your mood. Exercise creates changes in the parts of your brain that help to regulate anxiety and stress.
It can help reduce the symptoms of people suffering from anxiety, increasing their awareness of their mental state. This helps them to actively practice distracting themselves from their fears.
It causes increased sensitivity of the brain to norepinephrine and serotonin. Two hormones that relieve feelings of depression. It also helps to improve the production of endorphins. These reduce pain perceptions while increasing positive feelings.
What’s even more amazing is that the exercise doesn’t even have to be intense or vigorous. Even people who do low-intensity exercises or exercise for short periods can experience improved moods.
10. Builds Confidence and Improves Self-Esteem
One of the mental benefits of exercising in a group is that it builds your confidence and improves your self-esteem. Exercising on its own can make you feel accomplished every time you complete a session. Having a group of people to encourage you and help you through it also helps to build your confidence.
It’s a great motivator for your next session. It only improves as you start to feel yourself getting fitter and stronger. The weights you use will increase along with the intensity of each session, so you know that you’re slowly reaching your goal.
Physically, your posture will improve, which will reflect your newfound self-confidence.
11. Creates a Sense of Belonging and Increases Friendships
Besides the general benefits of physical activity explained above, one of the benefits of a fitness class is that you become a part of a group or team. This can help to motivate you. This feeling of working as a team can also help you to complete challenging exercises that you’re otherwise tempted to give up on if working on your own.
In addition, you now know a group of people you have at least one thing in common with. This can create a bond, allowing you to meet new people that might result in lasting friendships. As the group gets closer, you will be more likely to hold each other accountable, which helps members of the group to achieve their goals.
Working Your Way to Better Health With Fitness Classes
It is often very difficult to find the motivation to exercise. It also doesn’t help that many people, due to their hectic lifestyles, experience increased levels of fatigue. The answer to killing these two birds with one stone might lie in joining a fitness class.
Being a part of a fitness class can help to motivate you to exercise, as you know you’re not in it alone. Once you get to know other members, you become a source of motivation for each other as each of you tries to reach your goals. If, after consulting with your physician, you’ve ensured this is the right type of exercise for you. Find a fitness center or gym that best suits your needs.
Fitness CF has hundreds of group classes you can choose from. We combine high-energy structured routines with good music to keep you energized. Joining is easy. And don’t forget to ask us about our FREE Pass. We’re ready to help you on your journey to better health and fitness!