It’s amazing how things change once we hit our thirties. Our lives have new priorities and we have new interests. While many things have changed, some things have stayed the same. Being in the field of health and fitness, one thing that I have noticed is how our health and fitness goals have stayed, but the reasons for them have changed. Let me explain.
In our recent Facebook survey, most exercisers said that one of the primary reasons they began exercising and continue to exercise is to improve their appearance. For most of us in our thirties and over, this is one thing that hasn’t changed. People at every age are still interested in looking good and exercise is one of the best ways to continue looking good for a lifetime.
Improved energy is another reason that exercisers gave for why they work out, but the over-thirty crowd now gives “keeping up with the kids” as their primary reason to have more energy. I think we can all agree that there are not many things in life that require as much energy and stamina as keeping up with a young child or two! Another reason that came in high on the list was improved health. This is a goal that is much more common with the middle-aged and senior exerciser than it is with the twenty-somethings. Those of us in our forties and fifties are starting to think about living long enough to see our kids get married, or to stay off of they myriad of medications that often come with aging. These are wonderful motivators and two great reasons to start exercising if you haven’t yet!
Increased strength is a common goal and for the “mature” exerciser, increased strength gives them the ability to confidently carry the grandchildren and to continue enjoying the sports and activities that they love. An increased quality of life was reported by every exerciser that we interviewed. Finally, the number one reason that people of all ages exercise is because it makes them feel good. Now whether they feel good because of the natural endorphins that exercise creates, because of the improved confidence and self-esteem that comes from being leaner and stronger or because of the innate feeling of well-being that comes from doing something good for your body; that we do not know. But if you ask me, I don’t think anyone really cares about why they feel so good, they are just happy that they do!
If you haven’t been following a consistent exercise program, it is never too late to start. Your body will respond to exercise at any age, and there is no better way to “reverse” the aging process than with consistent and fun exercise! Start with simply becoming active and revisiting a sport or activity that you used to love, or contact a local fitness professional who can help design a program for you.
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