Avera’s Growing Stronger class


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s known that regular physical activity is important, but as we age that importance grows.

In a local group fitness class participants say it’s physical activity that is helping them keep their independence.  

For the last 5 years Judy Hansen has been regularly attending this Growing Stronger group fitness class. 

From then to now, she’s noticed improvements in her balance, mental alertness, and has even upped her weights.

“You know your limitations, but you work on it slowly. You don’t walk in here and try and lift weights that are 6 to 8 pounds, you work into it gradually,” Hansen said. 

“It’s been so great to see people that have been coming on a regular basis, and they started maybe with just little 3 pound weights and they’ve graduated to 5 and 6 pounds weights,” Karri Stearns said. 

Class instructor Karri Stearns says the class mostly consists of older adults who are passionate about staying active.

“We work on things like stepping up, doing step ups, we do reaching, twisting, bending, carrying, lifting, everything that they would do in their daily activity normal life,” Stearns said. 

“I just want to live independently,” Hansen said. 

Which is a goal the entire class shares according to Stearns. 

Instructors say it’s not just about fitness inside this class, but you’ll also walk out with some friends. 

“Another real important part of the class, it’s the social aspect. You know, some of these women are single, are widows, and they come here for just that group contact,” Stearns said. 

“You’re meeting just a lot of neat people that have the same goals as you do,” 

And for people who feel their activity level may not be up to this class’s standards, Stearns says don’t worry. 

“It’s for all fitness levels. You know even though they’re older… we have some, definitely some physical limitations in here with arthritis and knees and hips and shoulders, so everybody just works at their own pace,” Stearns said. 

To see a schedule of when the next Growing Stronger class takes place, click here.

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