If you think gyms are only for the super fit or younger generation then think again! Anyone and everyone can enjoy the many benefits from regular exercise and going to the gym, regardless of age and fitness level. Don’t believe us? Then read on….
Staying active and social is vital at any age and it’s never too late to start. Unfortunately a recent study highlighted that just one in four people between the ages of 65 and 74 exercise regularly. This is worryingly low, considering the many health benefits exercise is proven to deliver such as increased strength, it can prevent bone mass loss, improve balance and coordination, lift your mood and boost your memory, as well as ease the symptoms of many chronic conditions.
So what’s stopping you? Many myths surround the subject of exercise for seniors but a lot of them simply aren’t true. For example, a common one is that exercise is pointless because decline in old age is inevitable. However, a lot of symptoms associated with old age such as weakness and loss of balance are actually symptoms of inactivity. In fact, exercise improves much more than just your physical health. It can also boost memory and help prevent dementia, as well as helping to maintain your independence – if you stay strong and agile, you’ll be much more likely to keep doing the things you enjoy in life for longer.
Joining a gym can be the perfect introduction to a new, more active lifestyle. Besides the obvious benefits of improving your overall health, here are a few benefits you might not have considered:
Balanced fitness programme
If you’re new to exercise or are a gym novice, one of the big advantages of a gym membership is the access you get to a wide variety of weights, machines, exercise classes and other equipment and facilities. This gives you the opportunity to try new things and vary your routine.
A gym encourages you to have a balanced exercise programme, which includes both aerobic and strength training exercises. Whether this is using the state-of-the-art gym equipment or through the 1Life group exercise classes, you can achieve a varied, full body workout all under one roof. These different exercises promote heart health and weight loss as well as help to prevent osteoporosis and improve muscle strength, balance and flexibility, all of which are extremely beneficial as we age.
Support and Motivation
Some people really enjoy exercise, for others it's can feel like a bit of a necessary chore. If you fall into that latter group, being surrounded by other people who are in the same boat can provide the incentive you need to make exercise part of your regular routine.
Your initial intention might be to drag yourself to the gym twice a week, but once you find your rhythm, you may end up going on a more regular basis, which will help make your goals more attainable. Likewise, if you exercise with a friend your gym sessions are a chance for regular social interaction and a gym buddy can be a great motivator, helping to make your visits fun.
1Life centres, clubs and gyms have professional trainers on hand and qualified to be able to design exercise programmes that fit your individual needs in a fun and safe way. They can show you proper and safe exercise techniques so that you don't hurt or injure yourself and ensure you get the most out of each gym visit and a prolonged exercise programme.
Senior members are often able to take advantage of the many great membership offers – have a look out for discounted membership rates or take advantage of off-peak promotions. Visiting the gym at ‘off peak’ times (i.e. during the day) will mean quieter exercise classes and no waiting around for popular equipment and weights. If you’re new to exercise you might also feel more comfortable getting a feel for the gym while it’s a bit quieter or exercising alongside other older members.
Have more fun!
Laugh together, sweat together and work hard together - whichever form of exercise you choose, make sure it’s fun! Remember, you’re aiming for about three exercise sessions of moderate intensity each week to really see and feel the benefit. You’re much more likely to stick to this if you’re having fun along the way and can combine it with an opportunity to socialise. So make the gym your new, healthy hobby today.
For more information about the many exercise classes and opportunities at your local 1Life centre simply call in today or sign up for a free trial at your local centre.