James Wilson
James is a Research Analyst covering several sectors for Mintel Ireland. His specialist areas include all things digital, social media and consumer shopping habits.

Mintel’s upcoming research on healthy lifestyles shows that regular exercise is the main way Irish consumers fight the signs of ageing, with 44% of consumers in Northern Ireland and 51% in the Republic of Ireland agreeing. Indeed, regular exercise can lead to improved mobility, cardiovascular health, prevention of muscle atrophy and a healthier weight for older consumers. Despite these benefits, however, participation in physical activity and use of weight training equipment at gyms and fitness clubs declines as consumers get older. This highlights the challenge that health professionals and fitness brands have in encouraging greater uptake of exercise and fitness among older consumers.

How exercise can help reduce age-related issues

Public Health England notes that too many consumers in the UK (including Northern Ireland) are neglecting to do exercises that strengthen muscles and bones. The organisation recommends performing activities such as resistance training, ball games and racket sports twice a week alongside the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity to better manage age-related issues such as muscle atrophy and falls.

What can be done to encourage greater physical activity among older consumers?

Offering more services such as over-60s strength-based exercise classes and specialist equipment will help to overcome the perception that fitness clubs and gyms are for younger people.

These locations should also look to highlight the social aspect of group-based exercise. This will help fitness clubs and gyms to not only encourage participation in physical activity among older consumers, but also move their proposition towards playing an important role in tackling wider societal health issues and keep consumers feeling younger and healthier in the later years.