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Group Fitness and Why It Works

Exercising in a group can be fun, challenging and personally motivating.

We all know the benefits of exercise—both body and mind. But did you know group exercise often leads to better results?

Experts from AOL Health and www.everydayhealth.com agree that group exercise provides support, structure and accountability. Exercising in a group can be fun, challenging and personally motivating.

Patient information in the Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants recommends that people exercise with either a group or a partner because they “are more likely to stay on track.”

As outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine, benefits of group fitness include a “social environment, safe and productive design, consistent schedule, accountability for participation and beginner-friendly experience.” These factors contribute to “increased regimen adherence and retention,” according to the Medical Fitness Association.

Another benefit of group exercise is a potentially tougher workout and more well-rounded exercise routine, with an instructor encouraging members of the group to push themselves.

Fitness classes are also a great way to meet people in your community.

Typically, your local fitness center, gym or YMCA will offer classes for all fitness levels. Try high-energy aerobics, indoor cycling, kickboxing, spinning and Zumba for cardiovascular endurance.  Zumba is a dynamic, fun, cardio-based workout of dancing to a fusion of Latin and international music.

Zumba Plus is a traditional Zumba class that also incorporates weight training and quick interval exercises. Zumba Gold is a great option for beginners or for those looking for a modified/lighter Latin dance cardio class.

Stretching, Tai Chi or yoga classes are good options for increasing flexibility and mind-body improvement. Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese form of exercise that uses graceful movement and breathing techniques to improve posture, coordination and circulation. Tai Chi may also be taught in chairs.

Small group training usually includes classes such as kettlebell and cycling/running.

According to www.womenshealthmag.com, kettlebells make traditional dumbbell moves more challenging, and working out with cast-iron kettlebells will add definition to your shoulders and back.

Other small group options are chair yoga and water group exercise classes such as deep H2O run and yoqua.

Whichever group exercise you select—from Zumba and step aerobics to yoga and indoor cycling—you won’t be bored with the variety of options available at today’s fitness centers.

In Minnetonka, here is a list of places where Patch readers can sign up for group exercise classes:

Awaken Pilates

The Marsh

Ridgedale YMCA

Williston Fitness Center

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