Before college, I never really put fitness as a priority in my life and the thought of going to a gym was extremely intimidating. I had no idea what I was doing or how to workout. I hated running. Once I learned more and started making the gym a part of my routine, I decided to try a few workout classes through my school. I have tried Zumba, Yoga, and Spin, and I had a great time at each.

It gives you a chance to try something new


Biking at different resistance and speeds for an hour straight sounded awful. I never thought in a million years that I would look forward to a spin class every week, but now it is one of my favorite classes, and I look forward to it each time. You just have to give everything a chance. Because believe me, if you told me a few years ago that I went to spin every week, I would have laughed in your face.

It forces you to workout a certain amount of time


Because classes are allotted for a certain amount of time, it forces you to workout for that long. Sometimes if I go to the gym for my own workout, there are days that I struggle to make myself stay longer than a half an hour. But when I go to a class, I know that I will be getting at least an hour of exercise, and I will be too in the zone to leave at any point.

It motivates you to do your best

When you are surrounded by other people doing the same workout, it brings upon a sense of competition. It is very motivating to see different people with different genders, shapes, sizes and athletic ability struggle through a workout all together. I know that seeing people pedal faster than me in spin makes me want to match their speed or at least do my absolute best to match the instructor. The instructors usually encourage everyone as you go as well.

They add something fun to your workout routine

Instead of doing the same routine over and over at the gym or if you are someone like me who just does not really enjoy your traditional idea of exercising, it is really fun to do something that does not feel like you're exercising. For example, my roommate and I do Zumba and love it because we get to dance around and laugh at ourselves while doing cardio at the same time. Or there are classes that are challenging and motivating and you get a workout in without having to put in the effort of making up your own routine.

It makes it easier to schedule in a workout

Classes are scheduled throughout the week at certain times, which allows you to pick a time and stick with it. Instead of saying "Oh I'll go later" you can't do that if you actually want to have a workout class. For me, it's great because I know every week which days I definitely will workout.

They are really fun to do with friends

It is really a fun thing to do with friends and have something to do together. When I am at school, my roommate and I always go to classes together, and it's a great way to motivate each other. And some friends who I do not get to see often during the day, I get to see a few times a week at our workout group class. When I am home on a break, going to the gym, specifically taking a class with a friend, allows me to see my friends often while we have the chance to.

Someone is there to help you

When you do not know what the heck you're doing, it is helpful to have an expert instructor there to make sure you are not going to hurt yourself.

You can make friends and meet new people

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Through my group exercise classes, I have met a lot of new people at my school who are always at the classes. My spin instructor always says hi to me now and some of the girls my roommate and I met at zumba last year are still friendly with us to this day.

There is a workout class for everyone...yes everyone

Zumba, spin, yoga, pilates, barbell power, body pump, etc. There are so many classes to try, and they all can help you workout in different ways. Find something you like! It's also a great way to work on something you are not the best at. Like for me, I hate running, so cardio is always difficult, but if I am doing it through cycling in spin or dancing in Zumba, I can get it done without feeling absolutely tortured.

You feel accomplished after completing a class


There is nothing better than completing a class and thinking "I just did that!" You get a good workout it, you sweat, and you have fun. Plus, for me it is such a great way to end my day by hopping in the shower and feeling physically drained before bed and feeling like I did something good for myself during the day.

The funny thing is, before I started going to the gym or trying group exercise classes, I was so worried about being judged by people around me. Now, I know that no one cares how you look or what you're doing because everyone is so focused on their own workout. Now, exercise classes have become a part of my routine and they have allowed me (someone who hates to exercise) to tolerate and often look forward to the gym! So if you need some motivation, I highly suggest giving a group class a try...especially if they are free at your gym!