Over 60? Wondering whether exercise classes will benefit you? Yes, they will! And not only physically, but mentally too. We asked our Just Believe Fit Mature Movers what benefits they have experienced from doing exercise classes.
Here are the four key reasons.
- Enhance your experience of life
When Anne retired recently, she thought she would be busy with family, friends, travel and making art. Those plans were thwarted by the rolling Covid-19 lockdowns here in Melbourne, where Just Believe Fit is based. “With next to none of that happening I found making a commitment to attend a fun class each day has kept me busy and engaged in other meaningful ways.”
Merilyn acknowledges the positive effects on her day and her life. “It makes me feel invigorated and motivated for the day.”
- Improve your mental health
Movement’s positive effects on mental health are well-documented. With the pressures and stresses of the spread of Covid-19 virus and the resulting lockdowns, it is even more important to look after our mental health.
“In terms of my mental health, I know, without a doubt, that exercise makes a positive impact on my mood and sleep,” Anne says.
“Our locus of control has been so badly affected by these rolling lockdowns, and the pathway out of our current lives appears distant and obscure. These classes are a great way to regain a sense of control, to be grounded, and to live more comfortably ‘in the moment’.”
Alex saw her mental health improve as she began to move. “My mental health improved significantly as I started to see the improvements in my physical wellbeing,” she says.
- Find your ‘tribe’ and community
Julie has found her community at Just Believe Fit. “Exercising in a supported environment with like-minded people promotes a sense of achievement and wellbeing. Just Believe Fit Mature Movers provides a sense of belonging to a supportive community for all ages, shapes and abilities.”
Anne agrees. She says it is wonderful to catch up with friends through the class. “Although brief, and via Zoom, it does reinforce that we are all part of a community. Just saying hello and getting a brief glimpse of people’s faces (and pets!) lifts my spirits,” Anne says.
Being part of a community is what motivates and helps Gay. “The advantage of looking forward to seeing like-minded people at the class (even Zoom)! is encouraging and the social contact really helps my mental health.”
Just Believe Fit has cultivated a kind and caring community of people and instructors. This is what Sue likes about the classes. “I like being part of a community of people exercising together.”
04. Improve your physical wellbeing
- Reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia
- Increase cardiovascular capacity
- Protect bone density
- Build and maintain muscle mass
- Keep joints working as best they can
- Improve flexibility and range of motion
- Reduce risk of falls
Alex has found the rolling lockdowns tough physically. “I have put on weight and have not been doing my usual exercise. I also have osteoarthritis in many joints. I was very stiff and sore and had started to develop a hunch in my back. When going to Mature Movers which was suggested by a friend, I found the stiffness and posture issues were improving. I can’t wait for the classes to resume as I want to go from Mature Movers to include more strength-based exercises.”
Anne says before she started doing classes at Just Believe Fit she felt her muscles weren’t as strong as they used to be and her balance was increasingly “wonky”. “Each year for the past few years I managed to have some spectacular falls, both at home and in public. No broken bones, but they did hurt my pride and give me very big bruises. There was a lot more grunting going on getting out of chairs, picking things up off the floor and carrying heavy shopping.”
“The classes have quickly improved my muscle tone and strength; far faster that I had anticipated…I have greatly benefited from the balance classes and now feel more confident moving around, especially on uneven ground.”
Gay loves the classes because she wants to “stay strong and be able to go forward into ageing being able to move well”.
As Gay and all our other Mature Movers attest, if we get moving, we will enhance our lives as we get older. We will make them as full and rich and happy as they can be.