The UK used to be a drinking society, but this has not been the case over the past decade or so, with a marked decline in pub culture. According to a government survey conducted in 2017 more young people than ever have become teetotal with around 25% of 16-24 year olds now saying that they prefer to never have a drink.
However for the older generations things are not quite so rosy. The same survey points towards an actual rise in alcoholism for older people with more 65 years olds having a drink than ever before. Regardless of the reasons behind this rise, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) claims that amongst this age group 1 in 5 men and 1 in 10 women drink enough to harm themselves.
The Institute of Alcohol Studies (ISA) additionally characterises alcohol use amongst the older generation as little and often, with many of these people drinking the odd glass of wine or two on a daily basis.
Drink Vs Exercise?
Is there something that they feel they are getting out of drink that could be replaced by exercise? In this article we look at some of the main reasons why people in this age bracket drink and ask if the issue could be solved with exercise.
• Relaxation – many older people claim that alcohol is a great way to wind down and helps them relieve stress and worry. It has actually been shown that there are many neurochemical benefits to exercise including the reduction in the levels of stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.
• Loneliness – and depression can drive individuals to drink more or could encourage socially supportive drinking based on addictive relationships. Rather than going to bars or asking friends round to imbibe, it is possible for older people to join exercise groups or dance classes to meet others and share in supportive activities.
• Insomnia – some people like to have a drink in order to help them get off to sleep at night. Often this is due other emotional problems in life such as loss of purpose with retirement or bereavement, which can lead to chronic insomnia. According to preliminary studies exercise has been found to help those suffering from this condition return to normalcy in their life.
Such a Good Feeling
There are clearly a number of benefits to replacing alcohol with exercise even in later life. Many argue that having a drink makes them happy and elated, and even this effect can be mirrored by exercise with the runner’s high created by endorphins or the good feeling of accomplishment that can come with weight training.
With many of our elderly relatives and friends it is all too easy for them to become trapped in a cycle of wine o’clock. Help them get to the gym with a little support or go running with them.
Why Not Start With Us?
Or if you do not have time then the perfect way to support your older loved ones could be through EMS Fitness. We have everything that’s needed in the space of our boutique fitness gym to help people get started without the pressure of the public gym. Give us a call and let’s talk options