Friendship and Fun Make Resistance Training Irresistible

The undeniable link between physical wellbeing and social connection is a key driver of the strategies Director of Fitness and Wellness Jennifer Neill uses to develop and activate Butterfield’s diverse exercise program. One class in particular, Resistance Training, meets three mornings a week – and exemplifies how friendship and social connection influences participants for maintaining a healthy, consistent routine.

The 30-minute Resistance Training classes are designed around use of circuit series exercise equipment, found in both of Butterfield’s two gyms. The equipment is readily accessible for a range of abilities and helps strengthen all major muscle groups to provide a full-body workout. Class members spend one minute using each piece of equipment, followed by one minute of stretching. Everyone rotates from machine to machine until each person completes all of the eleven total stations. Neill oversees the group, timing each segment and ensuring all are using good form.

As effective as circuit training is for revitalizing muscles, reducing fat and building bone density to combat frailty, what really keeps everyone coming back week after week is the conversation and camaraderie. The boisterous, fun-loving groups insist upon a motto, “What’s said in class…stays in class.” Every session is filled with laughter, a bit of kidding around and heavy doses of encouragement.

Residents like Fran Pearson are happy to share why they love the class so much. “When I first moved to Butterfield ten years ago, I was overweight and out of shape,” she said. “The exercise program at BTV has made a huge difference with weight loss and fitness. Many of the residents in my classes have become friends, and the various classes add structure to my days. It has made all of the difference in my life. I have lost weight and I am fit despite my disability.”

Ken and Jan Hargis, who recently moved to BTV, love attending Resistance Training and find a range of benefits for them. Ken said, “As we are among the newest residents, my wife and I see these classes as a great way to establish a healthy routine and to meet new friends. In many ways, the social benefits are as beneficial for us as the physical.”

For information about this class or any of the other Fitness & Wellness options at Butterfield, contact Jennifer Neill at