The Benefits Of Group Fitness Challenges For Weight Loss

The Benefits Of Group Fitness Challenges For Weight Loss – You’ll be happy to know that group exercise doesn’t just cover group personal training or classes, but think sports! Training for your local football or netball team also counts…

So whether it’s an exercise class, a sports team practice or a competitive match, there’s no denying that there are certain benefits to working out as part of a group.

The Benefits Of Group Fitness Challenges For Weight Loss

This article is here to dispel any preconceived notions you may have about this style of exercise, and we even have some interesting benefits from group exercise research to back up our claims!

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Before we get into the benefits of group exercise, we’ll take a quick look at the answer to “what is group exercise?” so you know exactly what the exercise method involves! You may already have a clear idea of ​​what it entails, but we’ll cover it just in case.

Basically, all the term implies is a form of exercise that is done as part of a group, whether large or small. This can mean any style of exercise, from a H.I.I.T workout to pilates or spinning, right through to a football or netball team.

Before you look at the 9 benefits of this style of exercise, feel free to check out the benefits of group exercise research we explored first! Hopefully this will give you a better idea of ​​the topic and allow you to see how and why it has grown in popularity in recent years.

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The study we focus on for this article was conducted by Dayna M. Yorks, Christopher A. Frothingham, and Mard D. Schuenke and was published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in 2017.

Yorks and her fellow researchers recruited 69 participants for the study. All participants were medical students, as the researchers were aware of the fact that medical students are “a group known for high levels of stress and low self-reported quality of life” (quoted from the Science Daily website) .

During the study, medical students were allowed to choose whether to participate in a 12-week exercise program in an individual or group setting. There was also a control group that did not participate in any exercise during the study other than walking or cycling for transportation only.

Participants who completed the 12-week group exercise program participated in a 30-minute CXWORX class (functional movement and core strength class) at least once a week. Individual participants were allowed to maintain any form of exercise they preferred, whether it was running or weight lifting. The only rule was that they had to train alone or with no more than 2 partners.

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Every 4 weeks, participants completed a survey asking them to rate their levels of perceived stress and quality of life, divided into 3 categories. Mental, physical and emotional.

At the end of the 12 weeks, the group that participated in group exercise showed significant improvements in all 3 of the measures (based on their average monthly survey scores). The results were as follows:

In comparison, participants who exercised alone (or with no more than 2 partners) exercised on average twice as long as group participants and showed no significant changes in physical or emotional benefits. However, there was an improvement in their overall mental health and well-being, showing an increase of 11%.

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Consistent with these results, the control group reportedly experienced little change in stress levels or overall quality of life during the study.

Therefore, the results of this study show that working in a group has mental, physical and emotional benefits that include a reduction in general stress.

Considering the fact that the studied group is one of the most susceptible to stress (due to their demanding studies), we can say that this result is quite accurate. It would make no sense to look at the benefits of a group exercise study that examined those who were not significantly affected by stress!

Of course, this is just one study, and other studies show that there are benefits to exercise in any form for those affected by stress. However, group exercise is clearly beneficial for people affected by stress, which we can take from this study!

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As with any research, there are advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of this study are that there were both male and female participants, so we can attribute the findings to both males and females. Also, there were 2 groups and a control group, meaning there was a comparison of all types of exercise – group, individual and no exercise.

Weaknesses of the study include the fact that it was only conducted with medical students, which means that we cannot generalize the results to other groups of students or to the wider population.

Also, results are self-reported by participants, and each individual participant may not experience stress/emotions/physical benefits, etc. the same way as the next participant, so the results are subjective, meaning they potentially have no validity.

Exercises don’t have to be solo! Group exercise can provide the following social benefits:

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The main social benefit of group exercise is the fact that you will meet new people and may even make new friends.

A barrier to exercise for some people may be that they don’t feel comfortable walking on their own, so a class is the perfect solution to overcoming that barrier. Although you may be attending the class alone, once you arrive, you are surrounded by like-minded people, which is also a great social benefit.

For example, if you go to a Zumba class, you will meet like-minded people who also love to dance! This is definitely a great way to make new friends who share similar interests as yours.

Also, due to the fact that everyone in the class shares at least one main thing – they enjoy the class! – attending a class can also create a sense of community.

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Another great social benefit of group exercise is the opportunity to develop/improve and use your social skills. Depending on the type of exercise you are participating in, skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication can be demonstrated.

Exercise is good not only for the body, but also for the mind! The following 3 plus points are all mental benefits of group exercise:

A big mental benefit of group exercise is that it reduces stress. Stress levels, especially in today’s society, are quite high as we have a lot to manage. One of the biggest causes of high stress levels is work, so taking some time to relax can help clear your mind and reduce your stress levels.

Constantly high levels of stress can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or mental health problems.

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Plus, if you’re overweight and trying to lose weight, high levels of stress may prevent you from doing so successfully. Stress releases cortisol, which is a hormone that regulates many reactions in the body, including your metabolism and immune response.

However, too much cortisol, such as in the case of high stress levels, can cause weight gain, especially around the midsection. Also, long-term high cortisol levels raise your blood sugar levels, which can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to go and exercise, especially in the winter when it’s cold and dark outside and probably raining! You may find it difficult to get out of bed early or head to the gym after a long day at work.

One of the benefits of group exercise is that it gives you that motivation you need! It’s very easy to think, “Ah, I’m going to miss my workout today,” when only you will be disappointed. However, it’s much harder to miss if you have others expecting you to show up, like friends and family and even a class instructor.

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This is also about accountability as others can hold you accountable. Training with others can also boost your competitive side and encourage you to work even harder.

In addition, classes are held at specific times and some gyms may require you to reserve a space in the class in advance. This is great motivation because if you’ve already signed up and have a time to aim for, you’re more likely to stick to that schedule and go train.

On the other hand, when you work out alone at the gym, you can go anytime during business hours, so it’s easy to say “I’ll go after class” or “I’ll go at 2pm” and then find excuses to put it off.

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