The benefits of exercise and physical activity are seemingly endless. Not only does working out strengthen your muscles, it improves your endurance, helps your heart, lowers your risk of conditions such as cholesterol and cancer, boosts your mood, provides you with more energy, helps you maintain a healthy weight and the list goes on.
For seniors specifically, engaging in a regular routine of fitness – whether it's traditional exercise or other physical activities – reduces the risk of falls, which becomes a greater concern with age. It may also help to keep a higher level of cognitive function and ease aches and pains.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that adults partake in at least 2.5 hours a week of moderately intense aerobic activity as well as strength training at least two days a week.
Whether you've contemplated increasing your physical activity in your independent senior living community or you've decided to make a commitment to fitness, encouraging a friend or loved one to join you is an excellent way to stay motivated. Together, you can support each other as you strive toward better health and wellness.
Benefits of having a workout buddy
You're held accountable
When you recruit someone to exercise with you, you are held accountable for following through with a workout plan. Whether you sign up for a dance class, vow to take daily walks after lunch or want to try yoga, you and your workout partner will rely on each other to show up. This is great motivation on the days when you're feeling tired or your energy levels are running low.
Exercise can be more enjoyable
One reason you may not have exercised much in the past is that you find it boring. With a workout partner, fitness can become more fun. You can pass the time chatting and catching up during a stroll around a park or you can encourage each other to challenge yourselves as you work your way through a strengthening session. In any case, physical activity may become something that you look forward to because it's another chance to socialize and spend time with someone you care about.
It encourages proper form
One of the most important things to keep in mind while working out is to use proper form for each exercise. This ensures that you're targeting the right muscles, and it also reduces your risk of injury. You and your workout buddy can watch each other perform different exercises to make sure the form is right and offer advice and adjustments for improvement.