What really makes people succeed at losing weight after 60? Many people think that losing weight is something we should do “for ourselves,” not out of any external pressure or a need to suit other people’s preferences for how we look.
While this is true, this doesn’t mean that exercise needs to be a solitary experience. In fact, according to new research, people are much more successful at losing weight when they’re part of a group.
A growing body of research suggests that health and fitness could be a more social endeavor. It seems that people are more successful at changing their lives and habits if they have a sense of “social pressure” to make the changes to their health – or if they have a sense of doing things to benefit a group that is larger than themselves.
Making exercise social gives you an added incentive to get out of the house and meet your friends. It also makes exercise more fun, as a simple byproduct of just having fun together.
Here are a few social activities that can help you lose weight after 60 while having fun with friends:
Women often love to shop or window shop; why not combine your trips to the mall with walking, talking and moving? Check out these Mall Walking Tips.
Charity walks and “Fun Runs” are a great chance to do something good for the community while feeling good and losing weight. You can support a cause and raise money for something you believe in, whether it’s breast cancer research, heart health, or other community fundraisers.
Many of these charity walks and runs encourage people to create a team of walkers and runners. Get a group of friends together and train for a few months in advance of the run – and then turn your day of fitness into a fun and memorable day out!
Remember the joy you used to feel as a child from going to the pool? There’s something so simple and relaxing about being in the water, whether it’s an outdoor aquatic center or indoor lap pool. In most gyms you can combine swimming with a hot tub, foot massage, and sauna and steam room for a full-body relaxation session.
Swimming is a great social activity. It might have been years since some of your friends have enjoyed the fun and rejuvenation of being in that cool water. Why not make a fun outing out of it?
Gardening can be great exercise, but many women over 60 might feel overwhelmed with caring for an entire garden by themselves. So make it a team effort!
Plan a rotating schedule – perhaps designate every Tuesday as Gardening Day and visit your friends’ homes to help each other with planting, watering and weeding. Enjoy a smoothie or some healthy homemade drinks at the end of the session. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!
Bike riding is perfect for older women because it’s low-impact and easy on the joints, you can do as much or as little exercise as you want, and it taps into that same childhood thrill of speed and freedom that we remember from pedaling around the neighborhood when we were young.
Why not get a group of friends together for a bike outing? Have a destination – garden center, farm, park or riverfront. Take a picnic lunch – make it a party with healthy snacks! A lot of towns have bike rental services or bike share programs, so even if you don’t own a bike, there is no excuse! Get out there and feel the wind through your hair!
Dancing is such a powerful form of expression and movement! It joins the movement of the body with the emotions of the spirit, all set to music. Dance is also a wonderful social activity – whether it’s ballroom dance, Latin dance, or dance-exercise hybrids like Zumba classes, there are many ways for you and your friends to unleash your creative spirits while having fun and getting exercise.
Every town or city has some place to dance! Check your local community center for information on dance lessons or dance studios. Go dancing as a group and remember to “dance like no one is watching.”
Exercise should never be boring or isolating or discouraging. If you feel like your workout routine is putting you in a rut or cutting you off from your friends, why not change things up a bit by making exercise more social? There are many ways to have fun with friends while burning calories and getting stronger. Start today!
What are your thoughts on this? How do you combine fitness and social activity? Please leave a comment and let us know what social activities you have tried to lose weight.