Group fitness classes have always been my go-to workout. I love the workout, but I truly love the community and the joy it has brought into my life. Back in 2009, I took my first Jazzercise class and quickly became addicted. I did that workout for many, many years before leaving to try a few different gyms. In 2018, we finally choose our local YMCA for many reasons but the big one being the childcare options. Being a mom of 3 kids under the age of 5, I needed to have childcare to work out.
The Y is where I fell in love with High Fitness. I loved other classes like strength training and dance fusion – you could pretty much find me taking any class that had good music, movement, and a group of people cheering each other on. I am so grateful that I walked into those classes and didn’t let fear take over. Over the years, I have gained so much more than just a physical workout.
Here are just a few things that I have gained or learned doing group fitness classes:
Having four kids, especially very large babies, wreaked havoc on my body. It is not what it was pre-babies at all. Unfortunately, a lot of my hormonal and autoimmune issues got worse after having my kids, and no matter how much I worked out postpartum, my body just wasn’t changing. I started to hate my body and felt trapped in it.
Going to group fitness classes was a game changer for me because it helped me realize that even though I didn’t feel like my body was changing, it was getting stronger and healthier. This was huge for my mental well-being because I started to learn to love myself exactly the way I was, where I was at, instead of only focusing on where I wanted to be.
Self-care means different things for different people, but for me, it is never missing a class. Making that time in my busy schedule as a homeschooling mom to four, and part-time working mom, to take care of myself is incredibly important. To do this, I had to carve out time in our homeschool day to make it happen. While I am in class, my two youngest go to childcare where they can play and socialize with friends. My older two will sit outside of my class and do schoolwork or reading.
Some think it is crazy that I drive 25 minutes each way to go to the gym, but for me, it has become more than just a workout. My mental health relies on me to attend classes because I always leave in a better mood. A beautiful bonus of it all is that it has shown my kids the importance of taking care of our minds, body, and soul. I think most mamas can relate to it being hard to make time to take care of ourselves, but it is so important if we want to continue to thrive and not just survive motherhood.
This goes along with self-love, but learning to be confident in my own skin has been hard for as long as I can remember. I have doubts and sometimes – most of the time – I let the negative talk in. Fitness classes have done wonders for building my self-confidence. I have learned to let things go, talk positively, not negatively about myself, and trust that I will get to where I want to be with time. I don’t beat myself up as quickly if my goals aren’t achieved anymore. Every morning I remind myself that every day is a gift – no matter how we look or feel – to do our best and enjoy it.
My biggest gain from group fitness classes is the community. Over the years, I have met some really great friends. In the picture below, Lisa (to the far left) and I were dancing together at Jazzercise over a decade ago (before I was even married!). I walked into class last spring at the YMCA and saw her and almost fell over. I was so excited to work out alongside her again, in a different space, in a different class, but same old friendship!
I am so thankful for the ladies that I have met over the years. I look forward to seeing them multiple times every week! They all inspire me to do better, be better, and smile more!
If you are nervous about trying a class, don’t let fear stop you from going. I challenge you this week to do something outside of your comfort zone. You never know how much it might change your life for the better!
Have you tried a group fitness class? What are some of your favorites? How have they changed your life? We would love to hear it in the comments below.
You make class fun, Robin, Lisa and Kaylee! I used to only do Zumba classes, but have expanded. I now go to High Fitness, Cardio Blast, Kickboxing and POUND. Going to a new class the first time is a little scary, but the teachers and other participants help you to see that you can do it!
Thanks Katie! I totally agree! It can be nerve wracking trying a new class but it is incredible how much it can transform your life!