Birds of a Feather Fly Better When They Stick Together – by Melanie Osmack
All of us can exercise on our own. So why don’t most of us do it? And if we do, why do most of us eventually stop?
Exercise psychology is a vast and complex area of study. Through research, experts have found that there are a variety of factors that effect exercise adherence. After almost 20 years in the fitness industry and six years specializing in pre and postnatal fitness, I have learned that a key factor is exercising in a group. Here are the top five reasons to exercise in a group:
You’ll work harder
Exercising in a group is energizing! Most people work an average of 20 per cent harder in a group or with a trainer than when on their own.
You’ll stick to it and so will your baby
People who attend fitness classes or play team sports are 50 per cent more likely to be lifelong exercisers. The children of lifelong exercisers are much more likely to be active themselves.
It’s good for your mental health
Exercise, whether alone or in a group, helps to prevent and manage depression. It clears our minds and releases our natural mood enhancers called endorphins. However, research shows that the mental health benefits are significantly greater when exercising with a supportive group of ‘like people.’ This is especially true for pregnant women and new mothers.
Women who attend pre or postnatal specific fitness classes often praise the multiple benefits. Not only do they get a great workout, they also get to build relationships with other moms and moms-to-be, learn about their bodies, and gather helpful community information.
It’s good for your baby
While you are pregnant, you will begin to see the value of creating a support network. Having a community means having the support you need to be the best mom you can be. After baby arrives, he’ll benefit from the sights and sounds of coming with you to class. He’ll try to track your movements with his eyes and move with the music. He’ll even grow to interact with the other babies. After a while you’ll notice that attending class has become part of his routine too.
So get out there and find a group fitness class that works for you. You’ll be glad you did!