Kickin’ Cardio…Butts and Guts…Get on the Ball…fun names, right? These energetic exercise class offerings belong to the realm of corporate wellness and offer unique aspects of fitness that keep a loyal crowd coming back week after week.
In my years of working in a corporate fitness center, I’ve identified three reasons why group exercise continues to be successful in enticing new employees to join the worksite fitness center as well as increasing participation from current members:
1. Adding a Corporate Group Fitness Class Allows for Social Interaction and Accountability
The phrase “buddy system” is used in so many settings because it works! Find any article about weight loss or exercise and it will cite accountability as a key motivational strategy. Telling a friend about a fitness goal—or in this case, meeting a friend at a group exercise class—makes one more likely to follow through. Breaking a sweat next to a friend ties in the social aspect that makes those squats more enjoyable…or at least tolerable.
As a group exercise instructor, I’ve often had to remind my class participants, “If you are able to carry on a conversation with your neighbor right now, you are not working hard enough!” They are having that much fun together!
2. Placing a Fitness Class into Your Calendar Makes It More Likely to Happen
When that friendly Outlook reminder pops up on your computer screen that says, “Kickboxing Class, due in 15 minutes,” it’s hard to ignore. We all know the typical pattern: For those who aren’t “morning people,” exercising before work is out of the question. During the day it’s easy to get wrapped up in deadlines, phone calls, and the like that push daytime exercise off the agenda. So, there you are at 5 p.m., mentally drained. So you think, "I’ll go home and just eat a snack or take a quick nap and then I’ll work out." Yeah, right.
Having a specific class that meets only at a certain time makes the idea of exercise more concrete because it can’t be pushed later and later into the day. Another bonus of adding a group exercise class onto your Outlook calendar is that if coworkers notice you are blocked for that particular time frame, they may try to schedule meetings around it.
3. Going to a Corporate Exercise Class Puts You on Mental Autopilot, Saving You Stress
I quickly discovered that in corporate fitness centers, clients deal with high stress levels, never-ending meetings, and work piles waiting at their desks when they return from the gym. In other words, exercise is the escape.
The last thing a frenzied, number-crunching employee wants to do in the gym is spend time planning a workout. Leave it to the group fitness instructor to organize the muscle groups, time the circuits, and count the repetitions. Knowing that all you have to do is show up to a class, dressed in your workout gear, makes exercise seem like less of a second job and more of what it’s designed to be: stress relief, a physical challenge, and a recharge of the batteries.
Employees are already offered such an array of professional workshops and classes. Consider adding group exercise into the mix to liven up your worksite wellness initiative.