The inspiration for this blog post all started a few months ago, at a group exercise class called Tabata.
There was a college student doing a research paper on “Why do people go to group exercise classes?” She needed our help by participating in a survey.
I was happy this was announced at the beginning of class so I could contemplate my feedback while participating in the class. I love processing while moving so I knew this would be effective.
After the class, I was eager to share my insights with the student and fill out the survey. I knew this was big and there was more to the picture. I was thinking about intrinsic happiness and self care.
Months have gone by and I am still pondering why I go to group exercise classes. I especially enjoy TRX and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes.
HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training that combines intervals of MAXIMUM effort followed by a complete recovery. While these classes mix up the timing variations they will ALWAYS take you to your max.
I go to class for several reasons which have evolved over the past few years. I have exercised for many years, I notice how my energy becomes stagnant and my mind is cloudy if I don’t move my body. I started exploring group fitness because I knew there was more to the picture then running on the treadmill, getting on a stationary bike or hopping on the elliptical. I felt like I had plateaued in that arena and I was looking for something new.
A few years later, and I am still hooked on these HIIT classes.
Here Dr. Mercola has a supportive article about why he likes HIIT workouts and there is science to back up the benefits.
So what is it, that I enjoy and why do I encourage you to explore group exercise?
- SHOWING UP regularly (commitment)
- the teacher (find one you resonate with) creating the workout and encouragement
- feeling great (endorphins released after exercise, triggering a positive body feeling)
- the synergy of being in a group
- the enjoyment of seeing people doing physical and mental self care
- efficient and quick ( HIIT classes tend to be an appealing 30 minutes)
- the after effect (metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete routine)
- upper body strength (important for healthy aging, we lose muscle mass as we age)
- exercise settles the body so meditations can be deeper and less agitated
Mostly, I am inspired by what I’ve noticed regarding SHOWING UP and how that is expressed in all realms of a person’s life. I think attending group exercise class and committing to going is huge! It is meaningful because it strengthens our “show up” muscle! Please don’t confuse this with obligation vs. having discernment and healthy boundaries. I am talking about “showing up” in a healthy, loving way.
Based on personal observation, many people are “checking out.” It is so easy to check out because of the addiction to smart phones and other electronic nooses (oops, I mean devices…) make it very easy to stay distracted and fill up the calendar and then become overwhelmed and basically unavailable.
Now, more than ever, we need to show up for ourselves, family, friends, our community and the world. I think that there is a link between committing to showing up for class and getting there without excuses and for fully showing up to your precious life!
I hope this inspires you to try a new group fitness class or go online and look up some information regarding HIIT. Don’t wait until 2016 finish out 2015 feeling your best!
As always, consult your physician before exercising if this is new to you or you have a health concern.