When it comes to going the distance on your journey to getting fit, popular talking points tell you the obvious:
- Engage in activities you really like
- Add variety to your routine to keep it fresh
- Keep a log of your activity to track your progress
But if you’ve tried these things and can’t seem to move forward, there’s a big step you can take, and it’s backed by science.
Research proves that exercising among like-minded peers can positively impact your long-term success.
Benefits of Group Exercise
Socially interacting during exercise has many benefits, including:
- Mutual encouragement
- Positive competition
- On-site instructors, who can provide training in body mechanics, nutrition and more
And the benefits aren’t just social. Group fitness results in lower stress levels and the release of more endorphins, which impact your general health.
In addition, upbeat music and a supportive environment, both hallmarks of many workout groups, contribute to your level of happiness and emotional well-being, inspiring you to come back for more.
Find Your People
Keep it Simple
Try forming your own group with work colleagues, neighbors or friends who share your interests and goals.
Meeting your friends at the gym or in your neighborhood for a quick walk or run is a good starting place.
Don’t Have a Buddy?
You can find group workouts at most any fitness facility, including large gyms, smaller fitness centers and boutique exercise studios.
If buying a gym membership or working out in the confines of a closed-in space aren’t appealing to you, a quick internet search will provide dozens of groups in your community, independent of fitness facilities, that offer group exercise.
These groups feature specific activities and many are free of charge.
Find Your Activity
Clubs devoted to running, walking and recreational sports are the most common.
But many groups feature lesser known forms of exercise. And many are becoming increasingly more popular, including these:
- New-mother fitness – Whether in a class setting or a stroller walking club, exercising with your tot provides a great physical and emotional boost.
- Boot camps at local parks – If you like pullups, pushups, lunges, crunches, as well as drills and sprints, you’ll love this intense interval training. It helps to feel the burn with friends.
- Outdoor yoga – Try connecting to people, while also connecting your body, mind and spirit. What could be better than improving your flexibility, breathing and core strength in the great outdoors?
- Tai chi – Relax your mind while you work your body with this ancient Chinese system of exercising to meditative movements.
- Martial arts – More than self-defense, these moves strengthen your core and improve balance.
- Zumba – Have fun getting your groove back with a fitness program that features Latin music and dance moves.
- Frisbee golf – You can burn 400 to 500 calories if you keep it at a brisk pace.
Getting Started - Workout Groups in the Kansas City Area
Kansas City has an abundance of fitness groups. From area Parks and Recreation departments to churches, and from health centers to workplace workouts, there is something for everyone.
To get started, explore these resources:
Meetup is a website that offers networking by posting group information organized by location and topic.
ClassPass is a monthly fitness membership that gives you access to a variety of facilities in 58 cities nationwide. The price of your membership depends on your plan type and location. An introductory free month of workouts is available, so that you can experiment with different kinds of group fitness.
To see a listing of exercise classes offered at Shawnee Mission Health, visit our Classes & Events page to learn more.
Not interested in learning some new dance moves or mastering Tai chi? Keep it basic by joining a running club. Check out the MyHealthKC running guide.
Or grab some friends and hit the biking trails. Where to go?
Get moving! A good workout is out there waiting for you, and possibly some new friends.