7 non physical benefits of exercise
Stronger muscles, better cardiovascular health, weight loss, maintaining and improving bone density are just a few physical benefits a group fitness class offers. Group exercise has also been linked to other amazing non-physical benefits, including improved mood and better brain health just to mention a few. Take a look at seven non-physical benefits of attending group fitness classes.
1. Group fitness classes are super social
It is very likely you’ll have more fun in a fitness class than exercising on your own and you also get to meet people with similar health and fitness goals to you. The more times you go to a class, the more likely you are to see the same faces and friendships very easily develop. Sydney based fitness instructor, Wendi Carroll, acknowledges the social element of group fitness and says, “you can make friends with similar interests and you'll even remember their names because you haven't been drinking! I've been teaching a Saturday morning cycle class for years. People arrive early now, so they can catch up with fellow classmates.”
2. Group fitness classes boost your mood
When we exercise, we experience increased blood flow to the brain and a release of endorphins and serotonin (the body’s natural antidepressant), instantly improving our mood and giving us a natural high. Given the fun and positive vibe that every group fitness class radiates, it’s a no brainer that the high energy will rub off and improve your mood. So if you’ve had a busy day and are in a bit of a funk, avoiding the gym is the last thing you should do – instead, head along to a group fitness class and boost your mood.
3. Group fitness classes improve cognitive function
Various studies have shown during cardiovascular exercise, the brain releases more neurotransmitters (messengers between brain cells) so the old and new brain cells can communicate with each other for better and faster functioning, improving memory and concentration levels to name a few benefits. As we grow older our brains shrink and those connections weaken – but it is now thought exercise can help build resistance to physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive function.
4. Group fitness classes encourage better sleep
Exercise can contribute to increased amounts of sleep as well as a more sound and restful sleep. More time spent in deep sleep is important because it’s the most physically restorative sleep phase, helping to boost immune function, support cardiac health and control stress and anxiety. After a good exercise session your body is also ready for sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster.
5. Group fitness classes take the thinking out of exercise
Group fitness classes make planning your fitness super easy because each class is planned and designed in advance – all you need to do is show up and participate! Goodlife Health Clubs offer Australia’s widest range of group fitness classes with over 60 class formats, each class is designed by experts so that you reap the most benefits from taking part – you don’t really need to do much thinking of your own at all!
6. Group fitness classes improve exercise motivation
Fitness author Lisa Wolfe, sees group fitness as a big motivator to exercise, she says: “participating in a group exercise class challenges you to work out far beyond your perceived limitations, the instructor pushes you to your limits, you exercise harder with the crowd all aiming for the same goal and a group fitness instructor explains the benefits of each exercise, increasing your reasons to complete the workout and keeps you returning to class.”
7. Group fitness classes increase energy levels
Feeling sluggish, tired and sleepy? Skip the extra hours of sleeping in and head to a group fitness class – because exercise is one of the best ways to boost your energy level. On a basic level, exercise makes our muscles and cardio systems stronger, making everyday tasks easier. But on a cellular level, this transformation starts with our mitochondria, the "power houses" of our cells that are responsible for energy production. Different exercises affect our mitochondria in different ways, according to a presentation at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, suggesting we need both steady state and high intensity exercise to maximize our energy – and the best place to find those is through group fitness classes!