Group Exercise and Motivation

-May 10, 2022
Group Exercise Motivation

Group exercise classes are fast becoming very popular, with almost 40% of regular exercisers
participating in group fitness classes. In general, exercise has clear benefits for your health
and well-being, including lowered blood pressure, improved mobility and strength and better
sleep.

Excitingly, exercising in groups has been shown to provide additional benefits, when
compared to solo workouts. We discuss these benefits further below, so sit back and enjoy!

Peer Influence

Those around you can influence your thoughts and feelings towards exercise, which is critical
for determining whether you partake in it or not. If you get to know others who exercise
regularly, you start to perceive exercise as more positive, common, desirable and doable.

Being around people who exercise regularly helps to mould your perceptions about whether
other people exercise and if you think you should.

Exercising With Others Is Motivating

The strongest and most impactful type of motivation is called intrinsic motivation – doing
something because the behaviour itself is enjoyable and/or satisfying. If you enjoy exercise
and not just the post-class endorphin rush, you are more likely to stick with your routine in
the long term. Exercising with other people can provide that enjoyment needed to pique your
intrinsic motivation, even if the activity itself is difficult. Group exercise can turn working
out into a fun social activity, which could lead to you continuing to participate.

Exercising with others can also satisfy some basic psychological needs. Any kind of exercise
can help someone feel in control of their choices, but the social support from a group can
reinforce a sense of autonomy. Similarly, it will certainly increase your connectedness with
others.

In contrast, exercise is less enticing if your motivation is extrinsic, such as when someone
else is telling you to exercise, or you’re only doing it to lose weight. In this case, adhering to
a fitness regime becomes less likely and less rewarding.
If the extrinsic factors are removed, for example when you hit your weight goal or decide to
not worry about the numbers on the scale, then your motivation to exercise likely disappears,
along with all of the additional health and wellbeing benefits.

Friends Can Make Exercise A Habit

“How?”, you may ask!

Firstly, it’s a human tendency to mimic your behaviour after those you see around you. When
you observe others breaking a sweat, you begin to build confidence in your ability to
exercise.

This is very important for starting a new exercise routine, because how much belief you have
in your own ability to take on that Pilates class will predict whether you stick with it in the
long-term.

Secondly, your friends help to remove some of the barriers to exercising. Your friends can
provide reminders about class and encouragement, hold you accountable and even help with
logistical issues, including giving you a ride to class.

Thirdly, habits need a cue to trigger the behaviour. A cue to adhere to your routine could be
something as simple as your friend sending you a text saying that she will see you in class
later that day!

Our habits require a reward to maintain them, and intrinsic motivation that comes from our
enjoyment of exercising with friends can be the exact reward we need to maintain the healthy
habit of regular exercise.

Don’t Waste Another Second

Once you’re finished here, open up your favourite group chat and gather your friends for a
group Pilates class at 4ME Pilates+

The vibrant, welcoming and social environment of your new Pilates studio may be just the
change you need to make exercise a regular part of your weekly routine!

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