Society nowadays can be quite isolating, especially for seniors. Life moves very fast and it can be easy to feel left behind! When our mental health takes a hit, it can feel almost impossible to get the motivation to try to think positive, let alone start a new exercise routine.
A new exercise routine is not to be taken lightly, and doing so in a new environment with new people is often enough to make people want to put it off! BUT – the mental benefits of exercise will far outweigh the scariness of it, as long as we let it! Let’s look at the benefits:
Feel those muscles!
It goes without saying that exercise has a direct physiological benefit. A good program incorporating strength training, aerobic exercise, mobility work and balance exercises will improve daily function and help reduce the risk of co-morbidities. When we start to feel stronger in our day to day lives, this will often make us feel more positive about getting a handle on life and possibly returning to activities and hobbies.
We hear the magical word ‘endorphins’ a lot when it comes to exercise. An hour of moderate-intensity exercise will trigger the response of endorphins in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter which helps reduce pain and stress! These neurotransmitters are to blame for that happy and accomplished feeling we get after exercising. The type of exercise does not matter – we just need to get the body working! A walk with friends, crazy dance session at home or a high intensity weights session will all have similar effect, so you can pick what you enjoy the most!
Group exercise or gossip session?
At Active Seniors, we pride ourselves on the inviting and warm environment we have built to ensure everyone feels comfortable whilst exercising; and to also foster a social environment in what can often be a very isolating society. Our members enjoy a session with their friends and often go to have a coffee or lunch after. We encourage friendly chat during our sessions – provided everyone is exercising hard of course!
The group aspect of classes often makes exercise feel less like a task and more like fun, and (dare we say it) the time does fly when you are having fun! Exercising with others in a similar age group or of similar abilities helps with motivation and this is a huge factor in establishing and maintaining a successful exercise program.
Remember, exercise does not need to involve joining a gym full of loud music and muscly people (although some people do enjoy this!). It can mean setting up a weekly walk with friends followed by coffee/lunch, joining a dance or yoga class or joining a senior’s gym! Whatever your flavour, believe in your ability to take on and achieve this new challenge – you will feel much better for it!