The level of physical activity among seniors in Poland is alarming. Currently, 76% of them do not undertake any physical activity even once a week. Among a small group of active people over sixty, one in five mention gymnastics or fitness as their favourite workout. Considering the health benefits of regular exercise, on the upcoming Grandmother's and Grandfather's Day (21 and 22 January) it is worth thinking about an unusual gift – joint physical activity.
According to the MultiSport Index 2023 report, Poles love training in fitness clubs. It was this activity that recorded the highest increase in popularity last year (+11%). It is also more and more often appreciated by active seniors. Among a small group of active people over sixty, one in five consider gymnastics or fitness classes as their favourite workout. The times when exercise rooms were reserved exclusively for young people are gone forever. Sports clubs have seen an impressive increase in the number of activities tailored to the needs of seniors, such as healthy spine or Zumba Gold. These are not only exercises for the body, but also a recipe for joy and health for years.
What motivates seniors to exercise?
Already 41% of active people in the 60+ group point to health prevention as the strongest motivator to take up physical activity, and one in four (26%) see relaxation and pleasure in an active lifestyle. Moreover, 78% agree that increasing the level of physical activity improves mental health, and 75% notice its impact on reducing stress and negative emotions.
Seniors are aware of the benefits of regular exercise, but there is a relatively low level of physical activity among this age group. According to MultiSport Index data, only one in four seniors are physically active at least once a week. Interestingly, seniors see a chance for a healthier and more active life in sports cards that allow them to use sports and recreation facilities: 47% of people over sixty would like to receive a card such as MultiSport Senior.
To support seniors in leading a healthy, more active lifestyle, MultiSport has initiated a free course called “Senior in shape project. Health, vitality, and a happy mind”. Its goal is not only to motivate people to exercise, but also to educate. Online lessons are conducted by professional sports trainers, dietitians, physiotherapists, and psychologists. Seniors will learn how to find motivation to be physically active, how to move around the gym, including how to warm up properly, what exercises to do to relieve pain, and what the healthy eating pyramid for the elderly looks like. You can watch the free course HERE.
Why is being active after 60 so important?
Systematic and properly selected physical activity slows down the processes associated with ageing, allowing seniors to enjoy physical and mental fitness for longer. As Magdalena Lewicka, a physiotherapist and medical trainer, points out, there are some physiological changes occurring with age that can be alleviated with conscious, regular activity.
– Lack of physical activity among seniors may cause faster loss of muscle mass, which translates into a decrease in muscle strength and endurance. After the age of fifty, it decreases by as much as 15% every subsequent 20 years – says Magdalena Lewicka.
Seniors should therefore remember the important WHO recommendation – muscle strengthening exercises at least twice a week. It is worth noting, however, that older people do not need large, metal weights for strength training. Bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, and push-ups on a table, are equally effective.
Thus, it is worth considering visiting a fitness club together on Grandmother's and Grandfather's Day. It is not only a non-standard gift, but above all an investment in the health, joy, and fitness of our loved ones.
 MultiSport Index 2022 survey data
Senior PR Specialist Benefit Systems