The benefits of joining a gym class

Winter is here in full force, and no one can deny that the change of the seasons comes with its own peculiar set of challenges.

For the next few months, getting out of bed in the morning could just as well be classified as a full blown recurring trauma, and Sunday mornings are no longer spent lying on the beach basking in the sun, but rather curling up in front of the fireplace savouring the comforting glow of Netflix or Showmax.

“But this time of year comes with another hurdle altogether: boredom or fatigue, which often arises in elements of our daily routines, like going to the gym,” says Pierre Louw, owner of online business My Health and Fitness. “Often the only way to overcome this is by shaking things up. I’d recommend joining a gym class.”

Read on to find out why it’s a great idea.

Change is necessary

If you lift weights or do cardio regularly, you’ve certainly heard that in order for you to continue seeing results, it is crucial to mix up your routine and adopt new exercises.

“A gym class is a breath of fresh air, and the benefits that you’ll reap from it will very likely enhance your regular routine,” says Louw.

Obligation = motivation

“Booking a session with a gym class – paid or free – makes you feel obligated to attend. If you miss a paid session, you’re wasting your money and if you pass up on a free session, you’ll feel guilty because you booked a spot which could otherwise have been used by somebody else,” Louw says.

Responsibility gives you a sense of purpose, and you’ll feel compelled to diligently attend each and every gym class you sign up for.

Cardiovascular benefits

Cardio classes – dancing, aerobics or boxing, for instance – improves your aerobic capabilities (absorbing more blood and oxygen during exercise) as well as anaerobic capabilities (coping with less blood flow and oxygen during intense exercise).

“Other benefits include a stronger heart and lungs, reduction in stress levels, decreased risk of heart disease and even some types of cancer, and better sleep. You’ll also be releasing plenty of endorphins (hormones secreted by the brain responsible for making you happy), which could significantly aid in combating the winter blues,” Louw says.

Increased flexibility

Attending classes like yoga regularly will enhance the suppleness and flexibility of your muscles and promote better blood circulation.

“An increase in flexibility and better blood flow will mean that you are better at building lean muscle when you lift weights.

Better form

Attending specialised gym classes means you’ll be working with a qualified instructor. These individuals are highly knowledgeable and will help you to learn to execute proper form for exercises that you do in the weight training area, like squats, lunges and deadlifts.

Get fit and make new friends

Are you keen to get to know people, or perhaps to meet a workout buddy?

“Gym classes are basically the common rooms of the health club, which means that you’ll get in touch with other individuals with the same health and fitness goals as yours,” Pierre Louw says.

New hobby

If you’ve always wanted to try a new sport – like cycling or swimming – gym classes provide a great foundation for learning, as attendees are often avid amateur athletes who go to gym classes during the week to train and do the real thing in the outdoors over weekends.

“Who knows? You might be able to ignite a new passion that you never knew existed!” says Pierre Louw.

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