Are you a woman of a certain age – say in your mid-30s or 10 to 20 years older or more – who likes to exercise to keep fit and manage your PCOS weight?
But do you feel uncomfortable when put through your paces in the company of others by a perky, hard-bodied, super-fit female in her 20s?
If your answer is yes to both questions, you’re in good company. Research by the exercise industry shows that many women over 35 prefer to exercise in private with a DVD instructor who’s closer to same age as they are.
The average buyer of an exercise home video is a 45-year-old woman. Now a new trend reflecting this age group has emerged, namely a demand for older on-screen female instructors whose ages include those in their 50s.
Ever since Jane Fonda released her first, age-defying VHS in 1982, the emphasis of exercise videos and DVDs has been on acquiring a body that belies a person’s real age, with the instructors more than likely to be young. Twenty-five years on, many older women, who either caught the exercise bug courtesy of those original Fonda tapes, or are new to exercise, still want to look buff.
But these days they prefer to be taught via a DVD in private by women who have had similar life experiences. That means female instructors who may have given birth several times and then struggled with a weight problem – and whose current healthy glow and still-slim appearance in their 30, 40s, 50s and beyond is due to the discipline of exercise and good diet, rather than plastic surgery or Botox.
Whatever their individual experiences, older woman exercisers apparently feel better working out with someone who projects a body image on a TV screen that is feasible for females in more mature age groups.
“If you’re down in your basement following someone, you like the idea that they look like you,” said Denise Brown, editor-in-chief of Fitness magazine.
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