It’s not always easy to find time to work out. And gyms, of course, come with a price tag. These are important factors to consider when you’re deciding whether to sign up for a new class — and there are certainly plenty of reasons why this might not be the right time for you to do so. But there are a number of benefits, as well. Here are a few.
1. Fighting boredom
It’s often all too easy to fall into a rut when it comes to working out. Changing up your routine may take a little advanced planning, but it’s probably worth it because doing the same workout day after day can lead to boredom. And that can sap your motivation and ultimately cause you to stop exercising regularly. Trying a new class can be a great way to mix things up and keep your workout routine fun and interesting.
2. Working a different part of the body
Another reason to consider adding some variation to your workout routine is that it gives you an opportunity to work different parts of your body. If your workout of choice primarily works your lower body, try something that will help you build upper body strength, and vice versa. Or if you’re someone who primarily lifts weights, sign up for a class where you’ll be doing more cardio.
3. Meeting new people
Anytime you can put yourself in a situation where you’re meeting new people, it’s probably a good thing. Maybe someone in your class will turn out to be a new friend or an important business contact. At the very least, having a room full of new workout buddies is likely to reignite your motivation when it comes to your exercise routine.
4. Challenging yourself
Taking a new class at the gym may be especially beneficial if you’re someone who tends to work out solo. Many of us challenge ourselves to perform at a higher level when we’re in a group setting than we do when exercising alone. If it’s a yoga class, maybe you’ll hold your poses a little longer. If it’s a spin class, maybe you’ll turn the tension knob a little more. It is, of course, important not to push yourself to the point of exhaustion or injury. But working out in a group setting often encourages us to do our best.
5. Giving yourself structure
Taking breaks from exercise is a necessary part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the long term. If we don’t, we’re likely to injure ourselves, or simply burn out. But at the same time, we all know how easy it is to justify skipping a workout, even when it might not be necessary or beneficial to do so. Having a class to go to that you paid money for, and that meets at a regularly scheduled time, can make it much easier to continue exercising with consistency.
6. Achieving proper form
With any form of exercise, improper form can lead to injury and inefficiency. Taking a class with a professional trainer is a great way to learn proper form. Not only will this help you avoid injuries, it will also help you to get the most out of your workout. You’ll be more effectively burning calories, building muscle and more.
7. Getting encouragement
It’s natural to feel discouraged when you’re going to the gym day after day and it seems like everyone around you is in “better shape” (which is, of course, a very subjective concept). But taking a class with people who are at a similar level of fitness as you can be encouraging. So if you’re still in the early days, make sure to register for a beginner’s class. Working out alongside others who are at the same place as you is likely to motivate you to keep going.
— Sarah Cooke