Fitness blog – Self Perception
Older adults often do not go to the gym because of their own self perception of themselves. Self perception can be
• Self efficacy: your belief in your ability to workout
• Self esteem: your own perception about your body and appearance NASM
I’ve heard from several older adults that they won’t go to the gym because:
• That’s where the kids in spandex workout
• I’m too old
• I can’t lift weights
• I look awful
• No one wants to see me working out at the gym
To these and all other explanations for why an older adult won’t work out, I would like to suggest that no one at the gym cares what you look like. In fact, the reaction I hear from most gym-goers when they see an older adult working out is “I hope I’m still working out at that age.”
So why the hesitation? I believe that the majority of it comes from fear. Not just the fear of looking bad in the gym, but fear of injury.
Older adults live in fear of falling down and getting injured. They fear straining muscles or becoming sore (sorer than they already are due to age). Most of them suffer from at least one chronic condition (85% of them do) such as osteoporosis, arthritis, COPD, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. As such, they have very good reason to be concerned.
Yes, I said it: be concerned, be cautious – but do NOT be afraid.
The scientific research is overwhelming – older adults who exercise are happier, stronger, feel healthier, and live longer lives! There is really no room for dispute on this subject. And yet, millions of older adults are still sedentary. And the reason is fear.
You could argue that another reason might be general malaise. I don’t want to call it laziness as I think there are many reasons why older adults might not work out. But there are few things as well established as the need for an older adult to exercise.
So, what can you do? First of all, if you don’t want to go to the gym, no problem – work out at home. There are literally hundreds of exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home. Call me at 312-848-9783 – I will come to your home and show you. You could do chores around your home – mow your yard (it burns a lot of calories – just don’t drink that beer afterwards). You could do functional exercises – those exercises that help you with the things you do every day – like sit and stands. This will build the muscles you need to get in and out of a car or on and off the toilet.
In this day of unbelievable medical technology, people are living longer and longer lives. To make your life productive, healthy and happy, call me today at 312-848-9783. I will come to you or you can join me at Snap Fitness in Glenview for a free training session.