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3 Reasons group exercise is beneficial for people over 50

The evidence behind the benefits of exercise for people over the age of 50 has probably been shoved in front of your face a fair bit over the last few years. 

This post is for those of you trying to find a solution for what to do, how to do it and finding motivation to keep doing it. 

 

Regardless of age or ability, training in a group has proven to be one of the most effective ways to exercise. Benefits include improved adherence, improved mental and social wellbeing and improved physical health. 

We have witnessed the effectiveness first hand, particularly when it comes to our Fit over 50s program. Our intention with the program was to give it the same excitement and feel that any other group fitness program might have, with the only rule being - you have to be over 50 to attend. With that, we have identified 3 areas in which we have seen as mitigable roadblocks for people over the age of 50 looking to get fitter and healthier. 

 

  • Improvements in quality of life (QOL). 

This 2016 study looked at the psychological influence of team training, resistance training and a control group of no training. 

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The two training interventions led to higher scores in the sub-scales psychological wellbeing, general quality of life (QOL) and health related QOL as well as a decrease in anxiety and depression levels. The team training group reported higher motivation levels and intrinsic motivation due to social interactions.

 Our vision at SOF has always been to provide a team-like environment with our group fitness program regardless of the session type or the participant's ability. The influence of group training has seen improvements in the mental wellbeing of our participants and this makes it one of our most enjoyable sessions to deliver. Turning up for a sweat and a laugh followed by coffee and a chat is something we look forward to every day and we know our participants do too. 

 

 

  • Higher adherence rates

Our fit over 50s program is easily our most social session and we believe this is the reason for such high adherence rates. Some of the feedback we get includes “It’s a great reason to get up and go for the day” and “It’s addictive, this stuff!”

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Which has led to the question, what is it about group training that drives adherence?

After diving into a bit of the literature, the most comprehensive analysis was done in this systematic review.

The study found that program design is one of the crucial factors of adherence rates and concluded that “incorporating the views of older people into programme design may provide guidance for innovative interventions leading to sustained adherence.” 

An issue we recently identified in our current program was the range of ability and requirements of each individual. As a result we added two additional aerobic conditioning sessions to the program which has allowed us to push some of our regulars (who have been coming for over a year now) whilst still able to cater for beginners at our strength sessions. 

Our big take home here is that listening and adjusting our program according to the evidence and perspective of the participants is a crucial part of the program! 

 

  • Affordability 

At Science Of Fitness we pride ourselves on accessibility. 

We believe that limiting our knowledge and services to only elite athletes or those that can afford it will compromise our mission - to influence the health and fitness industry for the better.

Training in a group setting is one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of being a part of a high quality program. We have people from all walks of life come together and work toward a common goal, increasing their physical fitness so they can enjoy life long into their old age. Be it a membership, 10pack of sessions or a casual class, we are flexible and eager to cater for all. 

If you are looking for a reason to start, you now have 3. If you want to find out more, get in touch via this link and our team will take care of the rest. 

 

We can’t wait to see you. 

 

#teamSOF

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