We are all aware of the benefits of keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but for many of the older generation this can be a difficult process. As the bones, muscles and joints become weaker and less efficient, the individual often develops a reluctance to introduce more activity into his or her routine.
It doesn’t have to be this way, of course, and the good news is that a growing number of local and federal governments around the world are encouraging the more senior members of our communities to become involved in some form of health and fitness programme. It’s reassuring to know that many people are now prepared to adopt a better lifestyle.
There is a popular misconception among some men and women of a certain age that the local gym is only for the younger generation, in particular those individuals who are somewhat obsessive about feeling fit and looking good. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, and one quick visit is usually enough to dispel this attitude.
Good health is for everyone
If you walk into just about any gym you are likely to find people of all shapes and sizes and, more importantly, from across the whole age spectrum. It’s rare to find any users with a poor attitude to fellow members, so any man or woman who decides to join will be left alone to do their own thing.
An older person who takes the sensible step of joining their local gym should make sure they have discussed the matter with their family doctor first. The medical specialist will be able to advise which specific activities would suit the individual and, perhaps more importantly, to tell them which machines to avoid.
Most gyms offer a free health consultation to new members, and it’s important for senior men and women to attend. The fitness expert will be able to give clear instructions about individual pieces of equipment, and how they can bring a tangible benefit to the user. This can prove invaluable for people who have not used a gym in the past.
Medical experts agree that regular exercise can prolong life, so there is plenty to be gained by joining. Even if the new member only attends once or twice a week the benefits will be noticeable. And if you’ve ever thought that it might be a little intimidating to use a gym, sign up for one session and you’ll see this isn’t the case.
David Showell is a regular gym user. He works for a Geneva car hire website.