GREENFIELD — Multiple studies provide statistical evidence that exercising in groups can achieve much greater results than doing it alone.
To provide weight to that argument, a new program called “Walking and Weights” started 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Adair County Health and Fitness Center.
The program is currently open only to members of the facility, but Katie Ohms, physical therapist with Rock Valley Physical Therapy, who taught the class, said that organizers aren’t ruling out opening the class up to the general public once coronavirus conditions subside a little more.
The class is on the calendar for the second and fourth Fridays of each month going forward.
The first class of each month will be geared toward movement while the second class of the month, taught by Rock Valley physical therapist Julie Doyle, will focus more on strength or resistance training.
Ohms said this class was designed to find a solution to the isolation many people have experienced in the last year and give them a reason to get out and be active.
“I think the past year has been a struggle for people to get the socialization and also for them to remain consistent with their health goals,” Ohms said. “This is a way to get people out and about and it also gives us a chance to get a little more involved in the community since we spend most of our time at the hospital.”
Ohms, who spent a lot of Friday’s class walking alongside participants and talking with them, said that this class also gives participants a chance to ask a physical therapist questions in an informal setting either about their own fitness goals or a recovery they’re undergoing from a recent injury or surgery.
“Research shows that exercise can be beneficial to virtually every system of our body. It’s good for us physically, it’s good for our cardiovascular health, it’s good for our mental health, it releases chemicals in our brain that our body needs for pain control,” Ohms said. “It keeps us loose and limber and there are so many benefits to it. If we can help people learn more about that and become more comfortable with it, that’s a win for everybody.”
Ohms explained that Rock Valley is grateful the fitness center is even interested in a partnership such as this and is excited for future sessions of this program, to see it take off.
“When it’s safe for everyone to get together, our goal is to open this up to the general public. When it’s nicer outside and is safe to do so without snow or ice underfoot we’d love to incorporate some activities outdoors,” Ohms said. “We had an awesome turnout today. We’re excited to get this going and help people in the community.”