While young people are always trying out the latest fitness crazes, a new study has revealed that it’s actually Baby Boomers who are racking up the most hours of exercise.
The study by Fitness Australia revealed that Baby Boomers are the nation’s most active generation, racking up 364 hours of physical activity each year. In comparison, their younger counterparts – people 40 and under – are averaging just 281 hours of activity each year.
The nation’s peak fitness industry body found the majority of Baby Boomers are getting physically active to improve their health, while confidence is also a huge driver. They are also the least likely generation to be held back because they feel they don’t fit in or are too embarrassed.
Fitness Australia CEO, Barrie Elvish, said another driving force behind encouraging Baby Boomers to stay active is wanting to prove to themselves that they can still do it.
“As a Baby Boomer myself, it is extremely gratifying to see this generation embracing physical activity, challenging themselves and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits,” Elvish said.
“Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, whether it’s pulling on your runners and stepping out your front door to go for a walk or joining a group fitness class with a friend. But when you overcome that first step, you build up confidence and start enjoying yourself.”
Don’t know where to start? Fitness Australia registered trainer and spokesperson, Chantal Brodrick, has shared her top tips for Baby Boomers thinking about starting a new activity or exercise.
First things first, think about why you want to get more active.
“Is it health, maintaining independence, to meet new people, try something new, or a mix of all the above?” she asks. “Whatever it is, keeping this in mind is really important and will help you work out which activities you may want to try.”
If you love the outdoors, consider activities like bushwalking or outdoor bootcamps. Or if you’re a social butterfly, Brodrick recommends heading to your local cafe with a friend and ordering a coffee to go, so you can chat and stay active at the same time – it’s all about moderation!
Brodrick cautions that you should speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any sort of pre-existing injuries or health concerns that may impact your ability to train.
If you’re just beginning to exercise, start by doing 10 minutes once or twice a day, she says, adding, “start with short 5-10 minute walks around the block, before working your way up to longer walks.”
Remember, getting a little bit of physical activity is better than none. Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and stroke, some cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia. It’s also good for your mind, assists in weight management and can improve bone health.
Brodrick adds certain activities, such as yoga, dance, tai chi and even simple at-home moves like single-leg balancing, can restore your balance and prevent injuries. It’s also important to incorporate weight training into your weekly fitness routine. Get active during television commercial breaks by doing some pushups or wall sits.
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