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Wellness

How Group Fitness Classes Became My Form of Self-Care

Prior to starting college, I had never been one to really love any form of group fitness classes. I always got nervous, worried I would be judged by the other participants, or that I would embarrass myself as I tried to get a workout in. I worked out on my own, going to the gym and doing an entirely solo workout, strongly believing that was the only form of working out that really fit me. 

However, coming to college, I wanted to try something new. A friend of mine had shown me the wide variety of group fitness classes offered at UMass’s Recreation Center, and I was shocked at just how many classes they had and how popular they were. Despite this, I was still hesitant. I had not worked out in weeks and was worried I would make a fool of myself. However, my friend and I promised to go together, and we signed up for our very first spin class. 

Walking into spin class, I was nervous. I did not know what to expect, I had never been to the Recreation Center before and I had no idea what the level of other people would be at compared to me. Grabbing my weights, and a towel, and sitting on the bike, I still felt my nerves circling through my stomach as I heard the instructor start to speak. However, as soon as class started, I felt the nerves quickly release. No one was silently judging or glancing over at one another, rather, everyone focused on themselves and stayed on the beat of the music as we spun. I felt free and fully relaxed, beginning to enjoy my time listening to music with a group of people and collectively working out. 

From that one spin class on, I have fallen in love with the group fitness classes, and in particular, spin. The group setting makes me feel motivated as I know I am not doing this alone, and I love having an instructor to follow who motivates the group as we progress throughout the workout, especially in times when I feel like completely giving up. Spin is also simply an amazing outlet for stress. Coming to college, I have had many moments of just feeling entirely overwhelmed. Classes, social life, and leaving home can sometimes become too much to handle and be incredibly stressful. However, going to spin and getting a sweat on gives me an outlet where I can take out my frustrations and clear my mind. 

Lastly, my absolute favorite part about spin is the music. Spinning to music where you have to follow the beat is a fun challenge and it is always the absolute best feeling when one of your favorite songs comes on. Themed spin classes such as “Taylor Swift Rec Spin” are the key to my heart, and make me look forward to working out where I know I can sing my heart out to one of my favorite artists. 

Group fitness classes have become my new form of self-care and I look forward to going to spin every day knowing how much better I will feel after. Though it may seem intimidating, I recommend trying a fitness class at some point. Go with a couple of friends, motivate each other to try their best in class, and get a great workout in!

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Sara Keegan

U Mass Amherst

Hey! I am a freshman at UMass Amherst, and am a Political Science Major.