The Group Exercise Revolution
Mental Health, Fitness and the Community
I recently asked my yoga teacher and fitness instructor, who I now consider to also be a friend, a question that really got her thinking about the reasons behind why she does what she does. The question was, ‘Do you believe group exercise classes connect theses three elements: Mental health, physical health and the community?’
Her answer was automatically 100% YES but it took her longer to consider the why. Below I have summarised her answer.
Firstly by having that break away from everyday tasks of work or home life does wonders for your mental state and nervous system, making you more energised, focused, and efficient. By being active you will feel mentally happier about yourself or feel less guilty about things and have the bonus of being around positive support which will leave you feeling happy and accomplished.
On physical health, of course while being active you improve strength, balance, and the cardiovascular system. This makes your entire body stronger one way or another through exercise, which in turn is preparing us for the future and the ageing process.
Thirdly the community, personally it has been an absolute joy to see ladies who attend my classes who have never met before talking, interacting and arranging meet up outside of class. All thanks to coming along to workout together, sharing a similar interest in looking after themselves.
I personally believe that group exercise is the most beneficial way to workout and the one I enjoy the most. I also agree all the above connect as her classes certainly do incorporate all of these three elements as well as being educated in the correct moves at the same time. Therefore, in those times when I am traveling or on my own you when I go home from uni, I feel that I am more than capable of achieving the same results with the knowledge I have learnt in the sessions.
Over the last couple of months I have connected with a couple of supportive, positive people who are definitely now my friends just through staying to have a quick chat after one of the classes. I highly encourage you all to seek out and find a class or group activity within a sports hall, a gym, leisure centre, at work or even in the park. There is something for everyone; you just need to find what ticks your boxes and the ones that suit you the most. Most importantly, the one you enjoy.
In summary, explore, meet new people, workout and above all HAVE FUN.