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Exercise buddy

Would you do more physical activity if you had a buddy to exercise with? 

I find doing exercise with someone helps me to achieve more. However, exercising with friends who are much faster/fitter (or slower and less fit) can be frustrating.  What if there was an application that let people (of all ages) link up with others to exercise at a similar pace/level?

This already exists for jogging (joggingbuddy.com), but a version could be developed to be more general and perhaps more accessible to older generations.

 

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Chiara Scarampi 11 months ago

I think it is a great idea. My parents used to be rather lazy when it comes to exercise. I often heard them saying “I have so many other important things to do, I will go for a walk later” but they rarely did. However, last year they committed to exercise with some friends and it was quite successful. I think that having a regular appointment motivated them to take it more seriously and it just became part of their routine.

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Siana Jones 11 months ago

Thanks Chiara. Do you think they would have done it with people they weren't already friends with? i.e. if it were an initiative set up through the local council (or similar)..

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Chiara Scarampi 11 months ago

I think so. They were also thinking to join the university of the third age which also offers group exercise classes, but then Covid-19 happened and they did not sign up.

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Bonolo Mod 11 months ago

My local gym (which is part sponsored by the council) has a walking club which is frequented by the elderly. It is also a good way for people to mix across generations and form friendships. Walking is also less intense on the joints and the heart.

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Nattawan Utoomprurkporn 11 months ago

I think this is a great idea. I tend to feel intimidated myself when I join the gym and everyone is like an expert in all the equipment.!!!

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Siana Jones 11 months ago

Thanks for your comment @Nattawan. I agree gyms can be intimidating. However, I've worked in a few gyms and I guarantee you that some of the people using gym equipment have absolutely no idea what they're doing.

Usually you can request an induction to learn how to use the kit in the gym. Perhaps a secondary idea to this would be for some kind of interactive app that allowed novice gym users access to detailed instructions on how to properly use different bits of apparatus in the gym , what do you think?

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Miroslava Katsur 11 months ago

This is a great idea! It would be fantastic if older people could find exercise buddies in every courner of the UK, not just in the city centers/big cities, but also in small towns and islands.

Siana, I also think that having another person or group of people exercising virtually (e.g. yoga) could be also nice. It does not substitute the real human interaction, but some people are unable to get outside (e.g. fear of falling, various conditions, etc.). However, I have never seen online exercise sessions for older people. My mother saw me doing HIIT workout using Zoom, and wanted to join, but she could not find any classes which would be tailored for people of her age. She tried exercising with me, but was really discouraged because she could not stop comparing herself to younger people, was very self-conscious, and found exercises too hard for her body.

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Siana Jones 11 months ago

You have great insight @Miroslava with your family experiences. I agree these kinds of interventions would need to be adapted to be appropriate for all environments.

I'm really interested in your comment on virtual exercise classes, I'm going to make a separate post about them. Since covid happened there have been loads of online classes. LesMills have some great online classes which might suit your mum, you do need to pay a subscription but it's a lot cheaper than gym membership!

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Miroslava Katsur 11 months ago

Hi Siana! Thank you for the recommendation - I'll pass it to my mum :)
I hope that COVID-19 pandemic will be over soon, so she, as many others, can find other people of her age to run together. It would definitely give her more motivation if an exercise buddy/ies were of similar fitness level and they could both understand their struggles and encourage each other. I'm looking forward for your next post :)

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Miroslava Katsur 11 months ago

Status label added: Conversation starter

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Octavio Zamudio 11 months ago

Hi Siana,
Having somebody to exercise with is very useful. I think that many of us sometimes find that having a commitment with somebody else to share a training session helps to be more consistent. Perhaps the load/speed/capabilities are indeed a factor for many. I would venture to say that a site could be created and instead of being focused to running, it could be for general training.
The fitness level could be self-determined by doing quick physical tests and a questionnaire about your goals (competitive, recreational, therapeutic...). Then you'd have a quantitative way of assigning fitness levels, then just setting your profile open for a buddy match!

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Georgie Cade 9 months ago

Status label removed: Conversation starter

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