You join a health club with the best intentions; this time you’re determined to make it work. You start going to the gym four times a week. Then it’s only twice a week and finally after three months, you just stop going. You come up with all sorts of excuses;
- You get bored quickly
- Working out is “too much work“
- You get “gym“-timidated
Or maybe this sounds more like you. You bought a piece of home gym equipment and decided this is the way to go. Why spend money on a gym membership when you can get the same results in the privacy of your home? Four months later, the only thing on it is your clothes!
The truth is that if fitness isn’t fun, you aren’t going to do it. The biggest force in making gyms more fun is the group fitness experience. The 1980’s exploded with “aerobic” classes and that has evolved into an entire new generation of classes to keep people motivated and entertained.
Spinning classes have turned the boring stationary bike into an exciting, outdoor biking experience. Billy Blanks made kickboxing famous and Beth Shaw’s “YogaFit” takes the intimidation out of traditional yoga classes. Body Pump, a weight lifting class, motivates participants with loud, energizing music, powerful instructors and a party environment. Most clubs offer a variety of programs like step, Pilates, alternative mind/body classes and other gentler low impact forms of exercise. With so much offered, how could anyone get bored or reach a plateau?
Michael Scott Scudder, health club consultant reports that ” 11.8 million people are participating in group fitness and that number is growing each year”. A recent ACNielsen survey of 1,000 participants showed that more than 90% visit their clubs at least twice a week to take part in group fitness classes. Phillip Mills, founder of Les Mills International says “the survey clearly demonstrates the potential of group fitness to impact the lives of club members”.
As John Naisbitt predicted in Megatrends in 1982, as people become wealthier, they put more value on non-material things like their health. Many people hire personal trainers, but if you can’t afford one, taking a group fitness class is the best alternative.
According to Bob Esquerre, CEO of Esquerre Fitness Group Inc, “More and more group exercise instructors consider fitness to be a career. This leads them to become more educated.” An educated instructor will stress the importance of good form”, says Esquerre, ” which will reduce the risk of injury and increase the participants chances of achieveing individual goals. This means that participants can get a more personal experience while being involved in a group activity”.
Getting started is easy:
- Select a class that appeals to you
- Go with a friend, or ask if your club has an “Ambassador Program” A staff member will introduce you to the instructor, and take class with you.
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Don’t keep up with the regulars
- Have fun
Whether it’s a dance, Pilates, yoga, spinning, kickboxing or strength training class, the more fun you make it, the longer you’ll stick with it. Philip Mills‘ father Les, says ” You have to find a way to fall in love with fitness. Find your path, aim to live as long as you can, and enjoy it to the max”.
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