Young adults typically populate regular exercise classes because seniors prefer exercising alone or with people from their own age group, rather than with chirpy young adults. Therefore, older adults would greatly benefit from activities adapted to their specific needs.
A professor from British Columbia interviewed close to 1,000 people between the ages of 30 and 82. His observations confirm the theory that people of all age groups prefer to work out in the company of their peers. The majority of people in their thirties and forties said they were comfortable exercising with twentysomethings, but were not keen on the idea of doing so with seniors. Not surprisingly, people over the age of 60 also prefer exercising with people their own age.
Most seniors could benefit from physical activity to help prevent falls, along with all the health benefits that come with exercising. In fact, it is estimated that one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year, resulting in bone fractures and other more serious complications. When young adults slip, they are more likely to be able to catch themselves, which may not be the case for older adults. Seniors tend to have slower reactions and reflexes and less muscle strength. Maintaining good balance and good muscle mass is not only crucial, it can make seniors feel stronger and safer. Let us not forget that we are ever too old or too young to start exercising!
Exercise groups are great motivational tools that can help you stick to a regular exercise regimen and are a great way to socialize and meet people! It is entirely normal to feel a bit skittish about attending a class filled with people who are much younger than you. You should know however that there are many organizations and community centres that offer aquaform, yoga, stretching and other exercise classes specially designed for seniors. So stop putting it off and go for it! Your body and mind will thank you!