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merritt_group_1911-57Do you have people? You know what I’m talking about…YOUR people. That friend you can count on or call on at any hour of the day or night. The person you see in the middle of Target and instantly connect with. The person you meet on the street and think “we should be friends.”

As humans, we have a natural tendency to look for those people that we immediately feel an affinity toward, people who “speak” to us, and people we instantly know we need and want in our lives. Our people. Our tribe. Our community.

Knowing this, it should come as little surprise then, that when working out, most people tend to stick with a program and perform better when in a group setting. And we’ve all seen it happen: that 6:00AM class, full most days of the week because the members feel a deep sense of connection; the folks that hang out after class drinking coffee and chatting; and the deep friendships that were formed because you happened to attend the same BODYPUMP class with an amazing group who became your closest friends.

Still not sure? Here are some other great reasons to try group fitness classes.

Professional Fitness Instruction. Certified instructors provide guidance on form, technique, and workout intensity. In most classes, you know what to expect, and the instructor can help you perform better and more efficiently by offering motivation, modifications, and other options.

Motivation. Teamwork and camaraderie make group fitness classes extremely popular. We’ve talked about finding your people. Turns out that these same relationships provide both a boost and challenge to work beyond your perceived limitations. Encouragement and that sense of “we’re all in this together” are both powerful driving forces when it comes to motivation. Added bonus: pain tolerance increases when in a group class.

Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Stress. A 2017 study by the American Osteopathic Association found that group fitness participants had significant improvements in all three quality of life measures: mental (12.6%), physical (24.8%), and emotional (26%). There was also a 26.2% reduction in perceived stress levels. Individual fitness participants who worked out twice as long in the study saw no significant changes in any of the above measures, except in mental (11% increase).

Accountability and Support. Group fitness classes occur on a set day and time, creating structure around physical activity. Knowing this allows you to schedule it into your day, creates a greater sense of accountability, and enables you to plan your day around that class. There is also a bond formed with others that happens in a group exercise setting. When you take a class regularly then skip a day or two, people will notice. You will be missed.

Group Fitness is FUN. Group fitness classes are just plain fun. With great music and everyone working out at the same time, group classes can sometimes feel more like a party than a workout. An effective workout can and should be fun. And, the more enjoyment you feel when exercising, the more likely you are to stick with it.

There’s no better time to try group fitness at Merritt Clubs than right now. Beginning this weekend, we will be featuring new choreography and music for most of our Les Mills and SoulBody formats. Try one or try them all.

This weekend also marks the start of our Group Fitness Challenge. We challenge you to take 4 classes in each of our Group Fitness Studios (a total of 12 classes) between January 11 and February 29. Classes take place in the Unleash (Main), Revive (Mind/Body) and Xcelerate (Cycle) studios. Complete the challenge to earn a unisex t-shirt or women’s tank top.

Working out in a group will give you the confidence and support you need to unleash yourself – enjoy your experience! Classes are designed for all fitness levels. You’ll gain strength from exercising with others and you’ll motivate each other to work harder. Check the schedule and register for classes on MotionVibe.