Finding fitness for those 40 to 60
SportSG to pay particular attention to the 40 to 60 age group with customised fitness programmes
People in the 40 to 60 age group must be encouraged to exercise, said Sport Singapore (SportSG), and it wants to do so with customised programmes.
Its latest study showed that more than 30 per cent of Singaporeans are diagnosed with a long-standing illness or disability when they are aged 60 to 80.
So it is crucial the 40 to 60 age group, of which 12 per cent already have these issues, start getting active to minimise their risk of such problems in future.
But half of those aged between 40 and 60 are not exercising regularly, according to SportSG's 2015 Sports Index. (See chart at right.)
Fitness instructor Mike Yoong, who conducts ActiveSG programmes, said that those aged 40 and above who do not exercise regularly will find it hard to find a sport programme that they enjoy and is suited to their fitness level.
"While there are programmes catered to the youth and seniors, (those aged 40 and above) find themselves sandwiched in a position where they may not be able to catch up with their younger peers, yet (are) reluctant to join a less intensive seniors programme."
To target this group, a new ActiveSG Masters Club was launched yesterday.
The club will team up with over 20 health and community partners to offer customised sports and programmes for those aged 40 and above.
Those who do not exercise regularly or are first-timers with little or no knowledge of sports can choose from a range of about 40 types of modified and tailored programmes, such as Zumba, which is available at ActiveSG centres islandwide.
These programmes are free, but gym and pool admission fees still apply.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who was at ActiveSG Masters Club launch at Heartbeat@Bedok, an integrated lifestyle hub that also houses a sports centre, said they recognise that different age groups have different physical conditions and needs.
She added: "ActiveSG is everywhere, (and) we are bringing programmes to our sports stadiums and the heartlands and community centres.
"By making these programmes readily available and as convenient as possible, we are hoping that more people have less obstacles to cross."
Mr Yoong, 55, who has experience teaching a range of ages, including middle-aged housewives, said those in their 40s are likely to face ailments, such as high blood pressure, hypertension and high cholesterol, but they are often reluctant to start exercising.
He added: "They would rather go for a buffet or could be embarrassed to start (exercising). But once they take the first step, exercising can become a habit. Plus, they can lose weight and make new friends."
Freelance educator Gayathri Gopalakrishnan, 56, who started exercising regularly two years ago after joining ActiveSG programmes such as the Pool Walk, in which people exercise in a pool, admitted that she used to avoid exercise.
She said: "I started because my doctor told me some aqua exercises could help with my knee pain.
"Now, I look forward to the days that I have classes because I feel more positive, and I even encourage my sons (aged 26 and 27) to exercise more."