5 overlooked benefits of using your gym membership

It’s a familiar story to many of us: We feel a rush of motivation to get fit, sign up at a nearby gym and go faithfully four or five days a week, only to give up altogether a few weeks later.

But what if part of the problem lies in our motivation for hitting the gym in the first place? We might go in looking at weight loss or building strength as the primary goal of exercise. But joining a fitness club and, most importantly, using that membership, can reap a host of benefits that might not have originally been top of mind for you.

Consider these added perks of joining a gym:

1. You’ve got a (workout) friend in me

The social aspect of joining a gym can (and should) be a great motivator. According to recent research, social isolation carries health risks for older adults, such as cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

But even if you don’t consider yourself socially isolated, you may benefit from a broader social circle. It can be hard to maintain friendships as we get older, and our networks narrow from life changes like retirement and empty nesting. Finding like-minded gym-goers can create social connections you might not have found elsewhere. 

2. Brain muscles get love, too

Aerobic exercise has the potential to improve the performance of an aging brain. Researchers have linked moderate exercise to boosting memory and thinking. By making exercise a priority, you could improve your brain health, putting you on the path to many more years of fond memories with family and friends. 

3. Run (or walk) away from future health complications

We know we can’t fend off the realities of aging forever but maintaining a consistent exercise routine can help prevent many common issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. Added bonus: It can also slow the loss of bone density that comes with aging.

4. Help prevent future injuries

Stretching helps keep muscles flexible and improves strength. A gym can be a good place to get into a regular routine for being more limber, reducing muscle strain and even helping to prevent falls

5. Hit the gym, help pad your pocketbook

In addition to the health benefits, regular exercise might also come with some financial benefits by helping to avoid the significant costs often associated with intensive health issues, especially when those issues require hospitalizations or specialty prescription medications.

If you need even more of a financial incentive, consider that you might be able to join a gym without owing a monthly membership fee, depending on the type of Medicare coverage you have.

To find more ways to help support your health and wellbeing, visit UHCMedicareNewsroom.com

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