Singing the praises of group training



I admit I do like to run on my own.  I can go when I like (usually early morning), where I like (very unadventurous courses where I live), and can plug myself into my I-phone and while away the time listening to my parkrun or Marathon talk podcasts.

And going to the gym, again I do by myself…mainly because I don’t know anyone else who goes to my gym.  But when it comes to group exercise, I am a massive fan!

There have been numerous studies telling us that exercising/losing weight with a buddy or family member helps.  But for many of us it may not be practical.  But for me group training has the best of both worlds; I choose the classes that are convenient but I also have a ready-made support system.  Every class I have been to has had an enthusiastic instructor.  Yes it’s their job, but so far I haven’t found a duff one.  And in most of the classes I have found helpful, kind people who are willing to help out a newbie.  Occasionally, as in life, there is someone who knows best, who looks and feels unapproachable but to be fair I have found them few and far between.  And another wonderful aspect is the fun you can have! Many smiles and giggles are shared, plus at the end there is an overwhelming sense of achievement.


My tips

Think about what you enjoy and what is practical when you choose a class.  If you are petrified on water, aqua aerobics may not be for you.  Equally if you know you are out of shape try not go for an advanced two hour class.  It will put you off!

Try several.  One of the beauties of belonging to a gym is that it doesn’t cost any extra to do the classes.  I have admitted that Zumba is not really my bag, but I have given it a go and then I’ll try something else.  I know that I have no rhythm, timing or balance.  So classes where these ingredients are vital, for me, would be a recipe for disaster.  One of the reason I love aqua aerobics so much, is that even though there is balancing and dancing, the water hides a multitude of sins!

If you are doing several a week think about the aims of the classes.  Some will be aerobic that will help to burn calories and work the heart and lungs.  Some will be conditioning-focusing more on toning, strength and endurance.  And others may focus on flexibility and condition as well as providing a calm and relaxing experience.  You may want to mix these classes up so you have a complete workout and certain areas of your body (I am thinking of knees if overweight) are not overworked and could be injured.

Most of all enjoy it!  It might be that group exercise is not for you.  But I have enjoyed it and have met some great people all wanting the same thing-to get fitter. It certainly is something I intend to keep up.

All, the best,


Woodyrunning spoon


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