Senior fitness program goes beyond exercise

Friendships and connections made at Northridge Recreation program


In Highlands Ranch, a senior fitness class aimed at getting the 55-and-over population moving has become a much more valuable resource to the community.

As a group of senior fitness participants celebrated classmate Yvette Gunther's 99th birthday party, many commented on how the program has led to lifelong friendships, support, and assistance for each other.

Taught by instructor Allyson Holgard at the Northridge Recreation Center, the aerobics class, held during the week, gets the senior population moving to energetic music and a lively atmosphere.

However, the connections do not end with the final song in class. Longtime class member Linda Wilson said exercise has become a small piece of the program.

“It really is not just about fitness,” she said. “It is about making important connections for all of us. For me, its more about being social and making friends. The classes are always full for a reason. This is definitely not your typical senior fitness class. Love the class. I love the program.”

Making the program a major success is the direction provided by Holgard, many students noted.

During Gunther's birthday party after class, Holgard made the rounds, hugging, smiling and showing that she has become a part of the group.

“With senior fitness, we all come together with different physical challenges and needs,” Holgard said. “We want everyone to feel at home.”

Gunther said after growing up feeling lonely in a boarding school, she hates being alone. The longtime Highlands Ranch resident said senior fitness has connected her to new friends, kept her in shape and made her appreciate the community she lives in.

“Every senior should take a class,” Gunther said. “You find inspiration to talk to people, find friends and be together. After I lost my husband, this fitness group helped me not be alone.”

Kathy Martz said she joined the class several years ago, and with Holgard's leadership, has loved every minute.

“Allyson is absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “She focuses on getting seniors moving and taking us well beyond the fitness aspect. We are connected and friends.”

To learn more about the senior fitness programs offered by the Highlands Ranch Community Association, visit the website at and click on "Classes, Camps & Activities."


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