Tip elaborated by David Pérez Terrado, Central Division – Physical Activity and Health, Metropolitan Club, collaborating entity.
Currently, we do not conceive of a society without the regular practice of physical exercise. Although historically it was thought that what determined the practice was a biological factor, it has been shown that it is a generational and lifestyle factor.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Ageing, older adults who participate in more physical activity can have access to a larger social network, since physical activity promotes contact with others. For example, performing more physical activities (such as walking) and doing aerobic exercise can lead to greater contact with friends and family. In turn, greater social contact leads to a better cognitive ageing. This is in line with the hypothesis of social stimulation that suggests that physical activity increases social contact, which results in an increase in mental stimulation and better cognitive functioning.
That is to say, if we exercise physically and, in turn, socialize, our brain will doubly benefit.
The social component offered by sports activities can increase the positive effects of exercise on one’s state of mind and increase motivation. For this reason, it is important to practice sports or exercise with more people, and this way we make sure we are motivated and keep exercising.
Nowadays, fitness centers are no longer just places to go jogging or to lift weights. These centers seek to create a community in which members relate to each other in small groups with similar interests. That emotional part that links and anchors people to the club, because they belong to a group, is fundamental when it comes to motivating people to go to the gym to do physical exercise.
That is why gyms offer group activities and special events both inside and outside the clubs. Creating groups within the social mass, through different activities that help to create new bonds and strengthen the interaction between them, is one of the objectives of clubs that seek to satisfy this double aspect of physical exercise and socialization. This positive socializing part is energized in activities such as: group-led activities; outdoor activities like running clubs or excursions; talks about lifestyle; concerts; social dinners; networking; and dance workshops or wine tastings.