Let’s face it – starting an exercise program for most people is fairly easy. Sticking to an exercise program and making it a part of your everyday routine like brushing your teeth is a totally different story. Just look at the amount of people year after year who start New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, diet and exercise only to fail in a few weeks time. 
MotivationThe problem is that modern society does not lend itself to an active lifestyle and exercise is just as important in maintaining health as is breathing fresh, clean air. As a society, people sit for long periods of time. They sit to read, watch TV, drive to and from work, sit at desks working on computers and our food is conveniently located at grocery stores or restaurants. We do not have to go out hunting for food or planting gardens in order to sustain ourselves as our ancestors did. 
Exercise is essential to healthy living and the sooner we can incorporate some type of exercise or movement into our daily routines, the better off we will be, mentally as well as physically. Joining an exercise class can be beneficial for many reasons, but here are the top five that can lead to starting a well-rounded fitness program and sticking with it:
  1. Attending a class that is taught by a well trained, certified instructor can insure that you are doing the right exercises and provide you with training to do the exercises correctly. Instructors use phrases such as “Keep breathing,” and “never sacrifice form for weight” in strength training classes to encourage participants to do the exercises correctly and to get the results they want without suffering injuries.
  2. Portland ExerciseFitness instructors or taking different types of classes can continue to challenge you as your fitness level improves and also prevents boredom. People who exercise on their own often times get into a rut of doing the same routine day in and day out. You may have heard the phrase “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s used a lot in the fitness world because it makes sense. Changing up your routines by participating in a variety of exercise classes, you progressively challenge your body to learn and adapt to new challenges.
  3. Exercise improves your mood and helps manage stress, making you feel more relaxed and energized to face the challenges of the day. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body resulting in a positive and energizing outlook on life. The following link provides more information regarding the association between exercise and depression:  http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression.
  4. Group exercise provides social opportunities and can provide a sense of belonging as well. Being held accountable to attend class with your friends can also motivate you to stick with the program.  This is especially important for retired or aging individuals looking for ways to stay socially connected and to avoid the pitfalls of boredom or loneliness. Many times, especially in classes designed for those that are retired, participant’s notice when someone is missing and follow up with finding out why they haven’t been in class. Friendships are formed and many gather for coffee after class
  5. Exercise gives you more energy and improves your quality of life. By improving your strength and endurance, exercise makes it easier to take your grandchildren to the zoo, go dancing, climb the stairs or even reach up to get something out of a cabinet. Making it easier to do the things you want to do and do them well can result in improved self satisfaction and greater happiness. That, I think is reason enough –
See you in class!
Ready to join an exercise class? Find one in your Oasis city. Or if you're not in an Oasis city, search in general using online tools like IDEA Fitness Connect.