Group fitness classes aren't just fun, they keep you motivated to meet your goals.

Group Fitness: Get Fit Faster When You Do It Together

Nothing keeps you motivated to stick with a fitness activity like having friends waiting for you at the door. Whether it’s a Saturday morning hiking date, a yoga or spin class, or a local sports league, having a regular shared fitness activity will keep you on track.  These surprising benefits of group fitness might have you searching out new fitness activities for your calendar.

1. You Won’t Get Bored

According to research from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), boredom is a key reason people slack off after starting a fitness regimen. Group classes keep you focused as you learn new moves each time while perfecting others. You can also change it up, trying out Zumba one week, kick boxing the next, until you find something that really grabs you.

2. You’ll Feel Accountable

Making a commitment to a friend to meet for a run or take a stand-up paddleboard lesson makes it much harder to back out. And many people find the comraderie of a class quickly becomes an additional reason to stick with it.

3. You Can Follow the Leader

Yes, you can learn yoga moves from a video, or do strength training exercises at home. But directions can be difficult to follow, and often you’re not sure if you’re doing them right. All you have to do is watch the teacher, and you’ve got someone to ask when you’re confused. Perhaps even more important, the teacher plans out the routine and all you have to do is follow along.

4. You’ll Learn Something New and Make New Friends

There’s no better way to make new friends fast than to sign up for an ultimate frisbee or soccer league, take a partner dancing class, or try out a new team sport like dragon boat racing.

5. You Won’t Cheat

When you’re sweating solo, it’s way too easy to slow down or throw in the towel when you get tired. So it’s probably no surprise that according to the ACSM, people exercise harder and longer in class than at home with no one watching. With the momentum of a group carrying you along, you’ll stay inspired throughout your workout, keeping you on track and moving toward your fitness goals.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.