Exercise Improves Self-Esteem for Older Adults

Encouraging your members to exercise just got easier. Not only does exercise help to improve health and fitness, but it also helps to boost self-esteem in older adults, according to a new study.

In the study, researchers evaluated the effects of two exercise programs on 153 participants, ages 60 to 75. They assessed participants’ feelings of fitness, strength and attractiveness. The first exercise program included brisk walking in a shopping mall, and the second included stretching and toning exercises. Both programs were performed three times a week six months. Researchers found that both exercise programs seemed to improve the participants’ feelings of their own attractiveness, and fitness and strength levels. Researchers found that feelings of self-worth were dependent upon how the participants felt about their fitness levels and attractiveness.

The participants improved their self-esteem through exercise during the program, but six months following the end of the study, self-esteem decreased because many participants did not keep up with their exercise programs. About 75 percent of those in the stretching and toning workout program continued to exercise after the study ended, but only 50 percent of those in the walking program continued to work out. Researchers believe that stretching and toning exercises may be easier and more accessible for older adults than walking, so they will be more likely to keep exercising.