In today’s article, I deep dive into the many physical, social, and psychological benefits of joining a fitness group. And if you’re looking for a place to bond with fellow curvy ladies while getting a good sweat, check out one of my classes, either in-person or virtual.
This one may be obvious, but joining a fitness group will help you make friends and connections (business connections too!). As an adult, it can be very difficult to make friends. But bonding over shared struggles and finding commonalities has a way of bringing people closer together than they would over a simple conversation.
Fights depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
The research is clear that exercise helps combat all mental health issues. But joining a fitness group has the extra benefit of adding a dose of fun and laughter to the mix, which doubly helps manage mental health.
Provides accountability and support
The great thing about fitness groups is once you start coming, your fellow groupmates notice when you’re not there. The next time you see them, they’ll ask if everything is okay and if there’s anything they can do to help. It’s a really great environment to build both community and accountability.
Improves communication and trust (especially in small group training)
Small group training has the extra benefit of doing partner exercises, so you learn to communicate quickly and clearly when you want to be pushed harder, or when you need a break, or simply to encourage one another.
Healthy competition helps you work harder and get stronger
The nice thing about a group of people doing the same exercise is we all steal glances at the folks in the front row, and we use their confidence to get inspired to get better ourselves. Sometimes I’ll be teaching a dance class and the way I’m teaching can’t be seen very well from the back row, but the back row folks can watch the people in the middle or front of the room to both learn better and push themselves.
Sometimes I pick people out of the crowd to come up on stage with me and help me “teach” a dance or exercise. I like to pull from all different parts of the room, and yes, I absolutely pick people who seem a little shy at first. I let my participants know that they can say no and don’t have to come up with me. But most of them take a deep breath, come on stage for 2 or 3 minutes, and have a blast. It’s a major confidence booster when you have a room full of 50-100 people cheering you on. It’s even inspired a handful of participants to later become instructors themselves.
Just as healthy competition pushes you to work harder, it also helps you learn better. I try to do a good job of explaining an exercise 3 different ways for 3 different types of learners: auditory cues (the words I’m saying), visual cues (demonstrate clearly with my arms and legs how to do the exercise), and kinesthetic cues (feeling certain sensations in your body). But sometimes a participant might need a little extra help. Using the people around you to either ask for help or simply watch what they’re doing can markedly improve how well you do an exercise, which helps you to do it safer and get stronger in return.
If you’re ready to join a supportive group of fellow curvy ladies and non-binary folks, check out my classes and workshops. Each is specifically modified to be as inclusive and friendly as possible, and all are welcome.