The Power of the Pack: Group Fitness in Greater Cleveland

For those that are life-long Northeast Ohio natives or for those of us who are recent converts, we all know one spectacular thing about our city – Cleveland thrives on its sense of community. We take pride in our neighborhoods, art, food, sports, and most importantly, people.   Clevelanders love CLE and the CLE loves them back by offering endless opportunities to be with and support each other. While most outsiders would think this translates into a city that is forced to come together to live through “The Decision”, “The Drive”, or frequent lake-effect snow storms, we know the truth. That while this city does have a history of coming together during tough times, we have many more positive reasons than negative to celebrate being Clevelanders.

pilates rock hall

To name a few, we have one of the most spectacular art scenes in the country, an orchestra that ranks as one of the world’s greatest, and so many fabulous restaurants that one can do some serious damage to the waistline if trying to make their way through all of them.

However, possibly one of the lesser known positives, and one that can help counter all of the delicious food consumed in our town, is the fantastic group fitness opportunities in Cleveland and beyond.

Group fitness opportunities present a great way for Clevelanders, new and old, to come together and explore their city, try something new, hear great music, make friends, and have fun! The power of the pack is what drives group fitness – drawing on the strength and encouragement of your fellow fitness community members. While they may not be as difficult as surviving the Red-Right-88 incident of 1981, group fitness classes can push you past your typical physical (and mental) limits.

Check out a few (of many) businesses below to find the community that best fits your needs:

  • Slip on some spin shoes and clip in for the ride of your life at Harness Cycle
  • Enjoy the tunes and some rockin’ yoga at the Believe in CLE event with Inner Bliss Yoga
  • Can’t get out on water during the winter? Have your own regatta and challenge your friends at Row and Workout
  • Feel the need set a new PR? Let the community at Birdtown CrossFit cheer you on
  • Always got your dancin’ shoes on? Get your groove on at The Movement Factory
  • Tired and achy from sitting at a desk all day? Hop on a reformer and try some Pilates at Relevation
  • Warm up from the cold weather and sweat it out in the hot studio at Harmony Yoga
  • Embrace your inner ballerina while you tone your core at Barre Cleveland
  • Head to viBE studio for a fitness cornucopia in the BE FIT CLE class and stay after and grab brunch with your new buddies

Think paddle boarding is only for summer? All you need is a pool and lets add yoga to the mix to make it more challenging with Shaka Fitness.

While finding the right community is the most critical component of getting what you want from a group fitness experience, there are many other positives that come from adding it into your exercise routine. It builds accountability into your fitness regimen – financially (most classes are prepaid), organizationally (as it stares at you from your calendar), and socially (the other regulars are expecting you to show up). It offers some variety in what can otherwise become routine and boring.

And lastly, it’s just plain old fun! You get the benefits of being inspired and motivated by your pack – realizing that while nobody is judging, watching, or laughing (except maybe your rhythmically challenged hip-hop friend), everyone is still supporting.  It’s the Cleveland community spirit at its best.  

Jen Henry, PT, DPT, MPH is the co-owner of Relevation Physical Therapy and Wellness, a rehabilitation and fitness studio located in the heart of the Gateway District. Relevation seeks to provide affordable, convenient, and quality orthopedic physical therapy, Pilates, and other fitness options to the residents and commuters of downtown. Jen has over 10 years of experience as a PT and is a certified Pilates and TRX fitness instructor.
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