Although regular physical exercise is vital for everyone’s health, two groups tend to fall well below the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: woman and older adults.
Researchers from Texas A&M University School of Public Health launched an intervention program called Strong Hearts, Healthy Communities 2.0 (SHHC-2.0) to motivate older women to participate in regular physical exercise. The program was conducted over a 24-week cluster and included two 60-minute classes a week. The participants were women (n = 182) aged 40 and better living in 11 rural senior living communities. The classes included exercise, nutrition knowledge, and civic engagement. Data were collected via surveys, and physical activity outcomes were collected via accelerometry. The results showed that this type of intervention increased physical activity and had positive effects on related outcomes measures such as social support for exercise, attitudes toward exercise, and self-efficacy.
In short, this study seems to provide hopeful evidence that interventional programs like this can be of great benefit to kick starting a healthier journey for older adults by offering them different exercises, food knowledge, and the opportunity to engage in these exercises within a social context. Such a program could be a good blueprint for senior living communities to adopt.
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Maddock, J.E., Demment, M., Graham, M. et al. (2022). Changes in physical activity outcomes in the Strong Hearts, Healthy Communities (SHHC-2.0) community-based randomized trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 19, 159. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-022-01401-1