Group train to speed fitness gains

Swimming in a group can make the sport more fun.
Swimming in a group can make the sport more fun. Ryan Mcvay

THERE are many groups that you can join for physical activity, including swimming groups, running groups and some boot camps.

But gaining fitness and joining a group can sometimes seem like a "chicken or egg" issue.

That is, which comes first?

Do we need to get into shape before joining a group?

Or can we enjoy getting into shape by participating in a group?

I often hear this question when I invite friends to come along to a swim group.

They'll say they believe they should be swimming a lot more by themselves before they'll feel comfortable about joining the group.

This also seems to hold true for other exercise groups.

What's interesting, though, is that those who join a group often get into shape much more rapidly and with more enjoyment than if they exercise on their own.

If you find yourself thinking that you'd like to participate in an exercise group, yet feel you're not at the same fitness level as other group members, start by talking to the instructor or coach.

Most often, they will tell you to give it a go and see how you fare.

What you will find is that you might not be able to complete the entire session but you'll be amazed by how much of the session you are able to do.

So, instead of thinking that you might join a group after you reach a certain level of fitness, think "I'm ready now" and start boosting your fitness straight away.

Professor John B. Lowe is the head of the School of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.


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Topics:  exercise fitness health lifestyle

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