“I felt I was a fish out of water but now I’m known as the cheeky one”.

 

Far too often we hear people over the age of 40 reminiscing on their youth and all the exercise they USED to do, how much weight they USED to lift and how fit/healthy they USED to be. Since when was exercise only for young people?

 

 

Today I will be reflecting on an article on a group of “gym junkies’ over the age of 55 that are breaking this stigma. Read the article here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-15/why-these-central-qld-seniors-love-working-out/102092106

 

Multiple reasons are covered in the article as to why this stigma exists:

 

  • Intimidation of a gym environment
  • The portrayal of gyms being full of only young and ‘fit’ people
  • Generational gender roles and stereotypes
  • Lifestyle behaviours from particular careers
  • Struggling with the retirement lifestyle
  • Loss of their partner or loved ones

 

In the health and fitness industry these are reasons we hear so frequently, BUT we are seeing more and more of a change with over 55 year olds making their way to the gym.

 

One active senior has said:

“it’s not just hauling around heavy weights that has improved my health, but also meeting new people and making friends.”

 

We’re starting to see the older generation exercising more because of:

 

  • People understanding the importance of exercise at all stages of health.
  • Exercise modalities and environments are becoming less intimidating and more welcoming to older populations.
  • Perspectives on exercise has changed: the physical AND social benefits of exercise, it is becoming more normalised for people of all genders, backgrounds and ages to exercise.
  • Communities that will help with motivation and accountability.
  • Gives routine to your day.

 


WHY is this shift in attitude important?

 

Exercise has holistic benefits – especially for older generations so breaking down the stigma of who goes to gyms and what is classified as exercise is crucial.

 

  1. Exercise will keep you doing the things you love and enjoy. Getting old is not an excuse.
  2. The benefits aren’t just physical – exercise often creates a strong social community.
  3. It will keep you healthier and reduce medical expenses.

 

“If we have good social support with our physical activity, it’s great because it’s about the community supporting each other”.

 

Are you still questioning if gyms are really suitable for people of all ages? Not sure about the evidence to support it? Or are you simply unsure on how to get involved?

 

Longevity have Exercise Physiologists near you to answer all your questions. Give us a call today on 1300 964 002.