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May 08, 2013

For Older Adults, Exercise is More Fun With Friends

Do you find it difficult to push yourself when you’'re exercising? Do you get bored and lonely at the gym? Are you new to fitness and need help learning a routine? Joining an exercise group or class might be the answer.

Studies have shown exercising in a group can create a natural endorphin rush, making your workout more enjoyable. In one such study by researchers at Oxford's Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, athletes had twice the threshold for pain in a group workout with teammates than they had doing the same workout alone.

Here are some more good reasons you should considering joining a group when getting in shape.

    • Making Fitness Fun: Let’s face it: Maintaining our physical fitness can be a challenge as we grow older. You might be bored or intimidated at the prospect of hitting the gym or starting a home workout routine. But these days, your local gym, health club, or community center likely offers fitness classes for every personality. Whether you love to dance, cycle, swim, or enjoy a peaceful yoga routine [LINK to “Yoga: Improving Strength, Balance, and Flexibility for Older Adults”], it’'s easy to find a group class that fits your style. Exercising in a group makes you feel like you’'re all in it together and makes it easier to stick with the program.
    • Getting Stronger Through Competition: Getting fit in a group can encourage you to strive for more than you would if you were alone. Even if you get tired after five minutes of cycling when you’'re by yourself, your desire to keep up with your group may inspire you to keep going for 10 minutes. Friendly competition between you and your classmates can keep everyone striving to do their best.
    • Making New Friends: You won’'t be the “new” person for long when you join a fitness class. When a group of people are challenged together, camaraderie and friendships grow quickly. You soon might find yourself meeting your new fitness buddies for a healthy lunch after your workout.
    • Getting Fit With Guidance: If you’'re not sure where to start with your new fitness goals, joining a basic class might be a good first step. Instructors can offer structure and guidance to you and your group at a much lower cost than personal training. Starting out in a group can also build your self-confidence as you get started. You aren’'t alone in the challenge of getting into a new fitness routine.

Remember, just like there is flexibility in choosing what type of exercise class to take, there are often options for picking a group with which you’ll be comfortable. Many fitness and community centers offer men- or ladies-only classes and classes for a designated age group.

Are you ready to begin a regular exercise routine? Download our free guide today for help getting started!

beginning a regular exercise routine


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