Want to meet new people with similar interests? Become more involved with the community? Get fit while enjoying the company of others? Maybe you want to network with the local business community? Whatever your interest or goals, there’s a club out there for you!
Nowadays, there are clubs and groups for virtually every interest, such as knitting clubs, walking groups, chess clubs and groups that just get together to do social activities, such as movie nights. The list goes on and on.
Here are some tips for finding a fun, fitness or social group near you:
- Look up associations and organizations in your town that are of interest to you, and find out what types of activities they have scheduled. Associations and organizations may have a yearly fee for membership.
- Talk to your local senior center or your place of worship, and find out what types of clubs or groups they offer. Senior centers may charge a small fee, but many groups will be free.
- Exercise good judgment by attending meetings in public places; if the meeting location is in a private home, for example, make it a habit to let a family member or friend know where you will be.
Giving Back & Networking
Nationwide service clubs, such as Rotary Club, Lyons Club and Soroptimist Club, offer the chance to give back while also meeting new people and networking. (Membership fees are required.)
Don Hanley, Ph.D., age 78, has been a member of his local Rotary Club for 31 years. “Originally I joined to feel more at home in the business and professional life of my town and to get involved in a community service organization,” he says. “I now feel part of the professional life of our community. I get satisfaction out of serving students providing scholarships and exchange programs, community projects – like providing extra amenities for our parks, such as picnic shelters, and international service like Rotary’s goal to help eradicate Polio throughout the world. I’ve also made friends with all types of business and professional people.”
Joining a club or group can even make you feel happier and more connected. “As a therapist, I recommend joining groups or organizations to interact with other like-minded individuals,” Dr. Hanley comments. “I have never seen a depressed person who did not feel alone and isolated. Joining a group is a good way of helping to overcome that isolation.”
Whatever your goals, you can never have too many friends. So whether you hope to lose weight and get in shape by joining a walking group, give back to the community by joining a service organization, or just socialize by getting together with others who share your age group or interests, you can get started today by exploring clubs and groups in your area.