When first starting an exercise program, many people have no idea what they need to do. Throwing yourself into a program that you found in the latest fitness magazine may not be your best option. Although most have detailed instructions on how to do each exercise, they normally don't include a mirror and a trained eye to check out your own form. A group exercise class is usually led by a trained professional, typically a certified personal trainer or group fitness instructor who knows the correct form of each exercise and can teach the class how to move your body so as not to cause injury or make an existing condition worse. They can even make suggestions on how you can adapt to a particular exercise if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.
Group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes, from a small group of two or three to large groups led by several instructors. There are new types of group exercises being introduced all the time. Look around your area and you will find lots out there, and you will find them not just in the traditional gym setting.
Probably the biggest advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability. If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Your attendance to each class is pertinent to the performance of the team. Many classes require a sign-in sheet to track who is coming regularly. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially.
Of course you are serious about exercise and you really want some serious results. But it doesn't mean that you can't have fun! Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that there are others there around you to support you in your goals and know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more.