Researchers at Oxford University asked six members of the 12-person university rowing team to work out for 45 minutes together, while the other six did an identical fitness program on their own. The six members who exercised together experienced double the endorphin release. This group ‘feel good’ effect is known as the rower’s high, and it applies to group workouts of all kinds.

On top of that, there’s a class to suit almost every interest. Whether it’s boxing, martial arts, yoga, barbell strength, HIIT or Bootcamp classes or dance-inspired fitness, there are lots of fun, effective group workouts to try.

If you’ve been holding off on joining a group fitness class, now’s the time to get started. If you’re on the fence, check out this list of five major benefits of group fitness:

You’re much more likely to show up for a workout if others are happy to see you there and share similar fitness goals. Find a friend and try out a group fitness class together. That way you each push the other to get to the class and you’ll cheer each other on. Not to mention the energy, upbeat music and social connection that comes with working out alongside a community of equally motivated people is amazing.

Lots of variety…and fun
Doing the same workout every time can get boring and give you a reason to quit. With so many group fitness classes to choose from, and new routines being developed all the time, you’re more likely to stay committed. Taking a variety of group fitness classes regularly makes it easier to cross train, which will help you achieve your fitness goals sooner.

There’s no need to create your own fitness program. Group fitness classes are designed to help you learn the correct way to exercise, get the best possible workout and minimize risk of injury. Best of all, the research and planning is already done, so beginners can get started, exercise safely and effectively and begin to see results sooner, while more experienced gym goers can stay focused on their exercise goals. With a trained professional leading the class, participants receive the full workout experience, including warm-up, workout, cool-down and stretching.

Group fitness classes are scheduled regularly throughout the week, and there are often shorter 15 to 30 minute classes that are designed to be done over lunch hour, so you can schedule them into your calendar and fit a workout into a busy work day.

Inspiration and motivation
Since you’re moving and sweating with a group of people and being led by a qualified instructor, you’re more likely to work hard to keep up. The group approach encourages you to try harder to accomplish more in the time you would normally spend exercising.

Group fitness instructors are trained to motivate participants at an individuals’ own level of ability, so they will say the right things at the right time to help you push through the effort, especially when it’s hard. They’ll help you do those extra 10 reps, so you’re more likely to succeed in your fitness goals.

Stress release
The combined effects of group affiliation, social interaction, moving to upbeat music, and focusing only on your own body can help you forget your day-to-day worries and reduce stress significantly. Studies show working out in a group lowers stress by 26 per cent and significantly improves quality of life.

Group fitness classes are designed for all ages, experience levels and physical abilities and the instructors are among the most engaged in the fitness industry. Try to attend at least three classes before you decide if you want to continue. Let the instructor know you’re new or it has been a while since you participated in a group workout and they will help you get started and support you in your fitness journey.