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Mingle and Motivate

It’s easy to put off that daunting 5k jog or those 50 lengths in the pool when you’re your sole motivation. This is where group classes come in, with a group mentality helping to push you out of your comfort zone, while bringing the prospect of socialising and making new friends.

“All forms of exercise come with benefits, whether these be improved cardiovascular health, improved muscle strength or increased energy levels. Although these are also true of group exercise, the element of working out with a group brings its own range of benefits”, points out Ross Perriam, CEO of EMD UK – a national governing body for group exercise, committed to driving positive change by removing barriers that prevent people from taking part.

Ross cites the mental health benefits of group workouts, quoting a study by the University of New England Ostephathic Medicine who found that participation in group fitness classes can lead to a decrease in perceived stress, with levels purportedly decreasing by 26%.

What’s more, it’s a great social experience, adds Ross: “For many, it is a way to meet new people and become part of a likeminded community. It also builds confidence and provides a great deal of satisfaction both mentally and physically.”

According to EMD UK, there has been a huge increase in the amount of people taking part in group fitness classes, with over one million more people joining in in 2018 when compared to 2016.

With the age of social media comes the fitness fad, with Instagramamble classes and trends coming out of the woodwork – some not so popular, and some are here to stay. If you like the sound of bonding over burpees and forging friendships over fitness, here are some of the group classes happening near you that you may just take a liking to.

PLAYGROUND GAMES
Rabble combines the social element of sport with the latest trend in getting fit – playing childhood games. The premise is simple, Rabble transforms your high intensity work out into fun, adrenaline-filled games that will get your heart pumping and burn calories. From British Bulldog to Capture the Flag, Rabble appeals to the competitive and playful spirit within all of us, so rather than a chore, your workout will become a fun-filled highlight of your day.

DANCE YOURSELF FIT
Unlike your typical clubbing experience, Clubbercise will leave you feeling fighting-fit. Fusing dance, toning and combat moves, accompanied by a soundtrack of old and new clubbing hits, this high intensity exercise class is a way to keep fit while improving your repertoire of dance moves and having as much fun as on a wedding dance floor. With high and low impact options and easy to follow dance routines, Clubbercise is a great group activity, regardless of your fitness level.

BODY CONDITIONING BODYPUMP
is a barbell workout class designed to shape and tone your entire body without building up bulky muscles. With the help of encouraging instructors and motivational music, BODYPUMP from Les Mills International will leave you feeling challenged and rewarded under the instruction of an inspirational class mentor. BODYPUMP classes have experienced a boost in popularity which can be attributed to campaigns like This Girl Can, who used strength to inspire in their advert, and British Weightlifiting’s #strongisnotasize which encouraged more to take up strength training.

GET PEDDALING
Get your legs moving and your heart racing with Pedal Studio’s spinning classes, and make some cycling friends along the way. With Pedal Studio, attendees will set themselves individual goals and reap the benefits of a high-intensity fitness fix almost immediately. Whether you just need to blow off some steam after work, or if you’re training for a specific event, Pedal studio’s friendly instructors make sure you reach your highest potential and the group mentality helps to keep you motivated.

MINDFULNESS MATTERS
From stress relief to core support, we’ve all heard about the myriad of health benefits of yoga and pilates and the trend for this style of group class only keeps expanding, with mindfulness yoga festivals attended by thousands a key trend that has taken off this year. Whatever has tempted you to practice mindfulness, Jiva Health offers a wide range of classes including traditional and more unique classes to refresh your body and mind.

MAKE A SPLASH
Aqua aerobics gives you a great all-body workout without the wear and tear of impact sports. Good for building up muscle, with almost no risk of injury, and helping put less strain on the heart by moving blood around the body, aqua aerobics is a great way to mix up traditional gym work out with the benefits of being in water. Everyone Active runs weekly aqua aerobics classes at four Surrey-based leisure centres, and classes consist of everything from water Zumba to traditional aerobics routines.

FIGHTING FIT
Defence classes are on the rise in terms of popularity, with more and more springing up across south west London and Surrey and more people keen to take up martial arts and self-protection. Whether you’ve got your sights set on a black belt, or you want to boost your self-confidence, defence classes work under the guidance of a qualified instructor and encourages you to pair up with others to reach your fitness goals.