When you visit social media platforms like Instagram, you often come across body-positive hashtags and fitness influencers. Today, fitness is more inclusive than ever, welcoming people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, genders, and disabilities. However, one aspect of fitness that is often overlooked is age. Age-inclusive workout classes are where everyone feels invited and empowered to take part in physical activity.
As obesity rates continue to rise and lead to serious health issues, fitness becomes increasingly important. Here are five reasons why age-inclusive workout classes are a game-changer for health.
Accommodate All Levels
Age-inclusive fitness classes prioritize accessibility. While a young adult may have more flexibility and strength than an older individual, everyone can participate in these workouts and benefit from them.
Instructors are trained to modify routines to accommodate different endurance levels and strengths. They provide alternatives to complex exercises and poses based on mobility, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and safe.
Emphasize Personal Improvement
Age-inclusive fitness classes focus less on competition and comparing oneself to others, and instead focus on personal progress.
Older adults work within their physical limitations, which helps uplift their mood and strengthen their muscles and bones to prevent injuries. However, individuals of all ages can reduce negative body image by avoiding comparisons.
There is growing pressure to conform to certain appearance standards, leading to a negative spiral of poor body image. Age-inclusive fitness removes the focus on appearance and encourages individuals to prioritize their overall well-being.
Offer A Chance To Connect
It is projected that by 2034, there will be more adults over the age of 65 than children in the United States. This presents opportunities for different age groups to socialize and build relationships.
Engaging with older adults helps younger individuals develop empathy, patience, and respect. It also aids in improving communication skills. However, the benefits are even more significant for older adults.
As individuals age, they tend to become more sedentary, putting them at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions. Those who experience social isolation also have a 27% higher risk of developing dementia within nine years.
Age-inclusive workout classes enable older adults to increase their physical activity and enhance their emotional and cognitive well-being. By participating in these classes, they are encouraged to socialize outside their homes, and the interactions help them stay updated on social trends.
Include Low-Impact Activities
Age-inclusive workouts involve low-impact activities that everyone can engage in, such as gentle yoga, aerobics, swimming, stretching, walking, biking, and light weightlifting. Instructors tailor routines to individual needs.
For example, swimming benefits both older adults with joint pain and younger individuals with sports injuries, as the water supports 50%-75% of body weight, allowing movement without further stress on the body.
Even low-intensity activities like chair yoga provide strength-building benefits for older adults and flexibility improvements for younger individuals.
Improve Overall Health
Physical exercise helps in preventing serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and also aids in muscle building and bone strengthening.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 36 million falls annually among older adults, with approximately 3 million of them requiring hospital treatment and 32,000 resulting in death. However, anyone, regardless of age, is susceptible to falls and subsequent injuries.
At the same time, 30.7% of adults and 42.4% of older adults are overweight or obese, and so are 16.1% of children between 2 and 19 years old.
Age-inclusive workout classes bring together individuals of all ages for the common goal of achieving optimal health and well-being.
Breaking Age Barriers To Fitness
Age-inclusive workout classes provide a welcoming environment for beginners as well as highly active individuals. They offer a safe and inclusive space for interacting with a diverse group of people and focusing on personal health goals. If you are looking for a low-pressure fitness program to improve mobility, connect with others, and boost self-esteem, an age-inclusive workout class may be the perfect place to start.