When visiting a social app like Instagram, you often encounter body-positive hashtags and fitness influencers. Today, fitness is as inclusive as ever, supporting people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, genders and disabilities. However, one less-talked-about facet of fitness is age. Age-inclusive workout classes are where everyone feels welcomed and empowered to participate in physical activity.
Fitness becomes all the more critical as obesity rates rise and give way to serious conditions. Here are five reasons why age-inclusive workout classes are a game-changer for health.
Accommodate All Levels
Accessibility is the main focus of age-inclusive fitness classes. Although a young adult may have a greater range of movement than an older person, everyone can enjoy and engage in these workouts.
Instructors receive proper training to modify routines for various endurance levels and strengths. They deliver alternatives to complicated exercises and poses depending on mobility, ensuring everyone is comfortable and safe.
Emphasize Personal Improvement
Age-inclusive fitness classes focus less on competitiveness and comparing yourself to others and instead hone in on personal improvement.
Older adults do what they can based on their mobility, helping to boost their mood and strengthen their muscles and bones to prevent injury. However, people of all ages can fight off negative body image by reducing comparisons.
There is increasing pressure to look a certain way based on societal standards — a downward spiral toward poor body image. Age-inclusive fitness removes the obsession with appearance and encourages you to focus on your well-being.
Offer A Chance To Connect
According to some, there will be more adults over age 65 than children by 2034 in the United States. This presents opportunities for different age demographics to socialize and build connections.
Engagement with older adults helps younger people foster empathy, patience and respect. It is also beneficial for improving communication skills. However, the outcomes are even more significant for those who are older.
Adults become more sedentary over time, putting them at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions. Those who isolate also have a 27% higher risk of developing dementia within nine years.
Age-inclusive workout classes allow older adults to become more active and improve their emotional and cognitive well-being. They must leave their house to socialize, while the interactions help them stay abreast of social trends.
Include Low-Impact Activities
Age-inclusive workouts are low-impact activities everyone can experience — such as gentle yoga, aerobics, swimming, stretching, walking, bicycling and light weightlifting. Instructors will modify routines based on individual needs.
For example, older adults with joint pain and younger people with sports injuries all benefit from swimming. Water supports 50%-75% of body weight, allowing you to move around without further injuring yourself.
Even low-intensity and chair yoga have strength-building benefits for older adults and younger people who are building flexibility.
Improve Overall Health
Exercise helps prevent serious illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also builds muscle and strengthens bones.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 36 million falls annually among older adults. About 3 million are treated at the hospital, while 32,000 injuries result in death. However, anyone can fall and hurt themselves, regardless of age.
At the same time, 30.7% and 42.4% of adults are overweight or obese and 16.1% and 19.3% of children between 2 and 19 are as well.
Age-inclusive workout classes unite everyone for the same reason: To attain optimal health and well-being.
Breaking Age Barriers To Fitness
Age-inclusive workout classes are a welcoming environment for beginners and highly active individuals. They offer a safe and inclusive space to interact with a diverse group of people and concentrate on personal health goals. If you’re looking for a low-pressure fitness program to enhance mobility, connection and self-esteem, an age-inclusive workout class may be the best place to start.