When we start working out we all have the best intentions. We start out excited and, motivated to reach our goals. The first couple of weeks we are crossing off the days on the calendar, feeling proud that we are getting in our exercises. After a few weeks, we are seeing progress and, the drive to keep going is still strong.
Now, some months have gone by and, the momentum has slowed down. We have missed workouts here and there, the exercise routine is getting boring, and the incentive to keep going is dwindling away. Many of us have found ourselves in this position before, and it is difficult to pull ourselves out of this rut. However, one way to gain ambition again is through group workouts! Anyone can benefit from this style of exercise, yet it has been shown that seniors especially find it advantageous.
The first, and most evident benefit from exercises classes is that it encourages seniors to get out of the house more. When we retire many of us find ourselves feeling lost because, our everyday routine now has changed forever. It is important during this time to search for things that make us feel productive again.
Group exercise classes allow elderly people to have something to look forward to once or twice a week, as it is scheduled at the same time. Also, just like work, exercising gives us a purpose, because we are constantly working towards a goal of some kind and, fostering a sense of accomplishment. Particularly in exercise classes, it is designed to provide focused, gradual progression so that we can work toward higher goals in a safe, healthy, and effective way.
Additionally exercise classes provide social opportunities for seniors. More seniors are reporting feelings of depression, loneliness, and isolation. Yet, group exercise classes are a great way to help older adults to attain friendships, and interact with others their own age. By doing this, we are not only improving our bodies physically, but mentally. Having relationships with people is just as important to living a long life as exercise is.
On top of that, by making friendships within the exercise class we have a built in accountability system. This increases the chances of getting out, and participating so that we can experience the maximum benefits associated with being active. It has been demonstrated that those who exercise in a group setting are more likely to push themselves harder in their workouts than those who exercise on their own.
To display this point even further, a study was done in 2016 with 26 older adults ranging in ages 66 to 86, where they measured the benefits of group exercise. They found that, even though participants perceived they were aging physically, and cognitively, regular group exercise helped them to improve or maintain their functional health and enjoy their lives. Also, they felt socially connected and experienced a sense of security in the community through caring for others, and supporting each other.
All in all, group exercise classes provide a plethora of proven benefits. Whether it be for the accountability, friendships, physical aspect, or feeling a sense of accomplishment again. The majority of the services Siel Bleu provides are group classes, where people of all walks of life, and abilities come together for a hour to exercise. Even though everyone comes, and stays in the classes for different reasons, they all would agree they are better for it.
For more information on Siel Bleu classes: https://www.sielbleu.ie/home/programmes/