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Three smiling people do squats in a group fitness class at a gym.

Five benefits of fitness programs

Expert guidance, a supportive community and fitness accountability are a few of the plusses that come with an organized fitness program.

November 15, 2023

Three smiling people do squats in a group fitness class at a gym.

Five benefits of fitness programs

Expert guidance, a supportive community and fitness accountability are a few of the plusses that come with an organized fitness program.

November 15, 2023

Three smiling people do squats in a group fitness class at a gym.

Five benefits of fitness programs

Expert guidance, a supportive community and fitness accountability are a few of the plusses that come with an organized fitness program.

November 15, 2023

The importance of exercise

Exercise is like flossing our teeth. We all know we should do it, but for many of us it doesn’t happen often enough.

That means we’re missing out on the multiple benefits of regular physical activity. It’s good for your brain, it can help with weight management, it lowers the risk of disease, it strengthens your body and it helps with stress.

Sounds awesome, right? Of course! But so does bingeing the latest streaming hit or sleeping in or getting everything done on our to-do list or hanging out with friends. Nate Dary, CPT, a certified personal trainer with the XS™ Fitness Program, said that regardless of the importance of exercise, the reasons why we don’t make time for it are endless.

“Getting in shape can be hard,” Dary said. “It’s human nature to avoid things that are difficult, but we need to realize that once it’s a part of our life, other aspects of our life will become easier.”

Five benefits of fitness programs

It may be time to consider organized fitness programs. They come with several benefits that can help make exercise a regular and valued part of your life. You may even start to look forward to it!

1. Expert guidance on a workout routine

Fitness classes and fitness programs are typically led by experienced professionals. They have worked with countless others who have been in your shoes. They know how to safely create effective workout routines for their participants.

Experienced trainers can also help you set reasonable goals. Many people new to regular exercise mistakenly think they’ll see results overnight. An expert can help you gauge progress so you can chalk up some incremental wins on the way to the bigger achievements.

Many fitness programs also come with expert recommendations on diet and supplements, too, to help you reach your fitness goals.

“Experts can ensure proper form to prevent injury and can create a safe routine for your fitness abilities,” Dary said. “They can also personalize a routine specific for you and your fitness goals.”

2. An instant fitness family for motivation and inspiration

Things can be more fun when they’re done with friends. Fitness programs, fitness classes or group workout routines mean you’re not alone. You have a ready-made group of people who have similar goals and challenges.

Having a whole new circle of friends who understand your struggles, are ready to cheer you on as you face them and celebrate you when you overcome them is a huge motivating factor for some people. It can mean the difference between sitting on the couch and getting yourself out there.

“With a common goal in mind, it gives you a group of people to endure your fitness journey together,” Dary said. “Fitness has many ups and downs so it helps to have a community to push you and hold you accountable.”

For others, the competition factor of measuring themselves against others might be just what they need. Studies actually have proven that people push themselves more when working out with others. It’s called the Kohler Effect. So, don’t get discouraged if others are further along in their fitness journey than you. Instead, hold them up as an example – proof that it can be done. It won’t be long before others are using you as their inspiration

3. Group workouts create fitness accountability

People who join group fitness programs or group workout routines are more likely to stick with them than if they are working out on their own. If you exercise alone, the only person that knows if you decide to skip a day is you. When you’re part of a group workout routine, whether it’s online or in person, people notice.

Welcome to fitness accountability. The decision to blow off fitness classes is much more difficult when you’re part of a group working together. You know you’re going to have to answer for your absence, even if it’s an online workout program. For the competitive types, you also have to face the effects of possibly falling behind your fellow participants.

Sometimes there is a financial investment, too. If you’ve already paid for the fitness program or class, skipping it is like throwing money down the drain.

4. Group workout routines improve your quality of life

Remember those benefits of regular exercise we talked about at the beginning of this article? In general, regular exercise improves your mental health and lowers stress levels.

In one study, however, group exercise had an exponential effect on some of those benefits. Research showed that people working out in groups over three months saw huge improvements in their quality of life – mental, physical and emotional health and stress levels – compared to those who did twice as much exercise while working out alone in the same timeframe. (Maybe it has something to do with that fitness family we talked about in #2 cheering them on!)

5. Fitness programs offer variety

It’s easy to fall into a rut when you’re working out alone. If you have a treadmill or exercise bike at home, you may end up limiting your physical activity to only that. While that’s certainly better than nothing, it can become a tiresome slog. And when that happens, the chances of you skipping the workout routine entirely only get bigger.

Plus, doing the same workouts over and over again can cause you to plateau. Mixing up the types of workouts and activities you do not only helps you avoid hitting ruts, it helps you continue to experience gains toward your goals.

Fitness programs, whether an organized online workout program or something offered at your area gyms or studios, often have a variety of workouts to keep things from getting dull. The XS Fitness Program, for example, was created by a variety of professional trainers with different backgrounds in fitness, Dary said. “Each one adds their different style of training for all levels of fitness.”

Who knows? You may try something new and never go back to your treadmill again.

How to choose high-quality fitness classes or fitness programs?

If all of this has convinced you to go out and find the right fitness program for you, make sure you choose wisely. Dary said to look for a program that aligns with your fitness goals and that will push you, but not so much you can’t complete it. Here are some tips:

  • Look for one that is led or organized by someone with training experience who can provide expert guidance.
  • Look for one that offers the type of community that fits your schedule. Can’t make in-person fitness classes each week? Find a fitness program with online classes and an accompanying social media component where you can virtually connect with your fellow exercisers.
  • Look for one that can address all your goals, whether it’s toning up, managing your weight, eating better or learning how exercise supplements can help in your workout routine. Many programs come with suggested eating plans and recipes to ensure you’re giving your body the healthy fuel it needs, too.

The XS Fitness Program, open to registered Amway customers or Amway Independent Business Owners, checks all those boxes. It’s also free to participate, although you do have to pay for any XS fitness products you may choose to use to enhance your workouts.

Mostly, you need to find a fitness program that you’ll stick with. A fitness program is only beneficial if you actually participate. It may take some trial and error to find the right one, but that’s better than not trying at all.