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The Health Benefits of Group Fitness Classes for Seniors

Seniors exercising in a yoga class together

After a holiday season brimming with celebration and indulgence, you might feel inspired to adopt some healthier habits in the new year. Whether you make a formal resolution or take a casual approach, resolving to be more physically active is a strong step toward good health and successful aging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week, plus two days a week of strength training. Sounds great, right? Especially on January 1. But if you’re like most folks, your enthusiasm for a new workout regimen may wane as the weeks go by. That’s why group fitness classes are so beneficial. In addition to providing the health-boosting benefits of regular exercise — weight management, improved cognition, reduced risk of disease, stronger bones and muscles, and fall prevention — senior fitness classes offer a host of other perks as well, including:

Accountability

It can be easy to convince yourself it’s OK to skip a solo workout. But when you work out with a group, you know you’ll face questions and comments: Where were you? Why’d you miss class? We missed you! That feeling of accountability to others can boost your motivation even after your initial enthusiasm for a new workout routine has faded. What’s more, as classmates begin to get to know each other, you might notice that a growing fear of missing out on the fun inspires you to keep showing up.

Social Engagement

Nothing breaks the ice in social situations like breaking a sweat together in a group fitness class. In fact, research suggests that increasing your heart rate as you move in unison with other people fosters a sense of connection and closeness. The challenges and laughter that you share in class offer a strong foundation for new friendships and social connections.

Improved Mood

Two activities that trigger the release of the “happy hormones” — dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins — are physical activity and socializing. In a group fitness class, you benefit from what French sociologist Émile Durkheim called “collective effervescence,” a joyful feeling that arises when a group of people share an endorphin rush during a communal activity.

Professional Guidance

Your instructor’s expertise will help ensure that your workouts are both challenging and safe. They’ll choose exercises appropriate for your fitness level, model proper form, and keep an eye on class participants to make sure everyone is performing the exercises safely.

Group Fitness Classes Galore at Robson Reserve at Sun Lakes

At Robson Reserve at Sun Lakes, group fitness classes are an important part of our active, vibrant community life and our philosophy of wellness. Whether you sign up for traditional fitness sessions like water aerobics and classes that focus on balance, mobility, or strength, or spice up your fitness regimen with line dancing and Wii bowling, you’ll have fun connecting with others and engaging in an active lifestyle all year long. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a visit to our active 55+ community.