As the year comes to an end and I have just taught my last senior group exercise class; I recently have been in a reflective mood of all the classes I’ve taught in 2018. Coincidentally, the reflective feelings between now and starting new senior group exercise classes in the New Year are very similar to the ones I felt at the end of 2017. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate having a break now, but one thing it has made me realize is at least 3 ways that these classes mean so much more than exercise.
1.Community- When I started one of my first classes in the New Year of 2018, one comment that stuck with me was when a lady mentioned how much she was happy that classes had started again. When I asked her why, she stated, “for seniors that live on their own, there really isn’t much for them to do between Christmas and New Year.” I’ve discovered that for seniors that live on their own with or without family/friends, this time of year can be especially lonely. The number of social get-togethers that have been built around my classes is something I would have never predicted as a byproduct 6 years ago when I started.
Hanging Out After Class
2.Personal Growth – One of the best parts about teaching senior exercise classes is that I get to share information about health and fitness. I set aside 5 minutes at the end of every class to talk about things that I might not cover in class, but I think I can still help them. Also spending time talking has forced me to continue to learn and improve my knowledge. As a teacher, I have found some of the best time to connect, learn and teach at the end of class.
3.Fun- Yes we get a workout, but one thing I want people to have in a class that I teach is fun. I have had more than one person that tells me that my class was the only group exercise class that they were able to stick with on a long term. I would like to believe one big reason people like my class is that they know that they will laugh. We all know that exercise is good for seniors, but they come for many different reasons than the person who’s trying to lose weight, get six pack abs, or get 5% body fat.