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a group exercise class using dumbbells in their exercise with the text "Building Community One Class at a Time"

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, here’s another reminder: the YMCA is all about community. One way one we keep our community together is through group exercise classes, which range from cycling to yoga, TRX cardio to Zumba, Tai Chi, and beyond.

The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center offers group exercises, specifically Total Body Strong strength training, line dancing, step-interval cardio, and Silver Sneakers classes for our Active Older Adults. Lynn, a member whom you will most likely find in step class, shared why she enjoys group exercise classes so much.

“I enjoy the camaraderie. All of our instructors make it fun. We work hard, but it’s fun,” said Lynn, a native of Trinidad. “And it motivates me. If I try to do it on my own, it’s not going to happen. So, I need to come into group exercise [classes] to keep me moving.”

Gwen Cooper, one of Thurston Road’s group-ex instructors, was inspired to teach these types of classes after she took a class of her own to stay active. Similar to Lynn, Gwen enjoys how working through a group-ex class is truly a group effort.

“You’re not working by yourself, you have somebody that’s pushing you and cheering you on,” Gwen said. “And I just get joy out of being able to do that and to motivate other people to do the same.”

If you’ve been teetering on whether or not group-ex courses are the right way to address your fitness, Lynn had a simple request: come and try it.

“There’s no pressure. … One of our instructors always tells us ‘as long as you keep moving,’ ” Lynn said. “You don’t have to push yourself to get it right all at once. Just come and enjoy the fellowship with everyone else and see how it feels.”