Building Community through Exercise Classes for Seniors 

As we get older, our risk of being more socially isolated increase. Loneliness and social isolation is linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. And while it can certainly have a negative affect on your mental health, it can be damaging for your physical health as well. Social isolation is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and more. Volunteering, walking with friends, and spending time with family (even just virtually) can all be very beneficial in creating a sense of community and lowering social isolation. However, group exercise classes can also be a great tool in reducing loneliness and isolation in older adults. In this article, we’ll go over the social benefits of group fitness classes as well as how to find a group fitness class near you. 

While exercise classes are associated with better health because of the regular physical exercise, the group aspect of many exercise classes can be very beneficial for seniors as well. Group fitness classes, as well as other classes for seniors offer a great opportunity for seniors to mix and mingle with other individuals in the same life stage as them. It offers seniors an opportunity and a reason to want to get out of the house, and when they see they same people each week, they can develop new friendships that help prevent them from being socially isolated. 

Additionally, the act of exercising with others can offer a space for members to build a bond that would not be forged otherwise. A fitness class helps seniors feel a part of community that is rooting for each other, cheering fellow classmates on, and lending a hand during challenges. 

When you’re looking for a group exercise class, first and foremost, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what level of exercise is appropriate for you. Jumping into exercise at an older age without talking to your doctor can be dangerous as it can increase your risk of falling and/or injuring yourself. 

Once you’ve talked to your doctor and are cleared to start exercising, think about what type of class or activity you’re looking for. If you want something that feels more like fun than working out, something like pickleball or a dance class might be a great fit. SCOA offers a pickleball open play every Tuesday at 9 am and a line dancing class on Mondays a few times a month that you may enjoy. 

If you’re looking to build some strength and balance, tai chi, yoga, or a chair fitness class may be a great fit. SCOA offers all of these options for seniors in the Southwest Georgia area, and they are very beginner friendly. 

If you’d like to learn more about the group fitness classes and other classes SCOA offers, check out our calendar of events here: https://sowegacoa.org/whats-happening/events/.