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Senior Fitness and the Buddy System

August 7, 2013

The following list contains just a  few of the many reasons that you or a senior you know are not exercising..  See if any of them are ones you have seen, heard or use yourself.

  • I am not motivated enough to exercise on your own
  • I don’t want to injure myself
  • Exercise is boring
  • I am old so what is the point
  • What if I have a problem
  • I am too tired
  • I am too stiff
  • It hurts too much

First of all in the above list, none are good reasons.  They are a list of potential excuses, and most of them would go away when someone finds the right program for them.

The only one I give partial credence to is the motivational aspect.

This is where the Buddy System comes into play.

Check out these two great examples:

1) My mom is 86 and lives in a 55 and older community.  She is the eldest of her group of friends. One of her best buddies is in he late 780’s and is having issues with her balance.  My mom issues of her own yet just the other day printed out a list of exercises I sent her.

What is she going to do with them you may ask.  At 86, what’s up with that? Well, it turns out that when she read the list she said to herself, “my friend could use these” and realized that the woman would never do them herself. So, mom took on the task of being the motivator and plans on working with her friend, and others if she can get them going to work on building the fitness.

2) About two years ago I started to teach a class at a seniors center in Chester, NJ.  For the first year I averaged 4 – 5 people a class. At times it was only two.

We did a few lunch and learns to get the word out and that brought in a few more, yet it was still sporadic.  One day 4 new people showed up at once.  Then a few weeks later a few more showed up, and in grew.

The class now averages 13 or more a week, and it is because of the Buddy System.  Once a few of the women started to see what it did for them, they called their friends and invited them. Those friend came and told other friends.  They chatter in class, laugh about their mistakes and congratulate each other on their successes.

And to top it off, most of these senior woman and men could use any of the other excuses in the list above, but don’t.

What is your excuse.  If you have one, find a friend, and make them your fitness buddy!



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