Health & Fitness: Group Exercise – A Virtuous Cycle


Health & Fitness: Aspria’s Kate Cracknell has found the answer to lapsed wellbeing resolutions: group exercise.

Group exercise isn’t just for women: it’s proven to help everyone stick to their wellbeing routine. You just have to identify the class that’s right for you – and you might be surprised by what you find. If you’re struggling to maintain your exercise motivation, now might be the time to consider adding a few group classes to your wellbeing routine.

Why? Because independent research shows that – male or female, young or old – group exercise classes do two important things: they encourage you to exercise more frequently, and they make you more likely to stick with your exercise routine over time.

Let’s take a look at the numbers… In 2013-14, a UK study found that health club members who only used the gym were 56% more likely to drop out than those who took part in group exercise classes. Meanwhile, a global study found that – even among active gym-goers – group exercise attendees visited their club on average 2.7 times a week, compared to gym-only users who attended twice a week on average.

It seems that group exercisers build stronger connections to their club and are more likely to stay committed to their workout routine.

So why is that? First of all, group exercise makes fitness fun. There are high levels of interaction, motivation from the instructor, plus the workouts are varied and usually accompanied by great music. It’s an interactive, entertaining experience.

Group exercise also builds a sense of community. You’ll see many of the same people at class each week, to the point that it becomes as much about seeing your workout buddies as about the exercise itself. If you aren’t there, you’ll be missed… and that makes you far less likely to drop out.

Finally, thanks to this fun and sense of community, you’re more likely to attend regularly, which in turn means you’re more likely to achieve results – and that’s absolutely key to staying motivated and keeping up your exercise routine. This is the virtuous circle of group exercise.

The challenge, of course, is perception: men in particular tend to think of group exercise studios as women’s territory – a place of dancing, aerobics and stretching. But things have moved on in the world of group exercise. Take a look down the long and varied list of classes at Aspria and you’ll find all sorts of options that will appeal whatever your age, gender, interests and level of fitness.