Older couples shouldn't exercise together

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mtaratoot
mtaratoot Posts: 13,175 Member
A recent study from Singapore found that older adults who exercise with their spouse achieve lower physical activity levels than older adults without their spouse.

Mutual motivation and support aside, maybe it's best to do your own workout.
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  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,454 Member
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    Makes sense. In all likelihood, both spouses don't have the same level of fitness so one is lowing their activity so the other can "keep up"

    Also individuals have different times they prefer to be active. if these times don't match up one or both of the members of the couple activity time suffers.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,984 Member
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    I have found the opposite myself.

    Even things like walking the dog - we do more laps of the dog park together than on our own, we enter fun runs together that we wouldn't do by ourself, we join sports clubs together.

    I guess this might apply to people doing gym programs or suchlike where each person is at a different level but I would wager that isnt the form of exercise done by majority of older people.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,502 Member
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    The Peloton ad says they love it though.
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,608 Member
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    BS
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,055 Member
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    I admit, I didn't go find the study, but I did read the summary press release thingie that the article linked to. Call me skeptical.

    The study sounds a little methodologically chaotic, kind of "throw several things at the wall, see what sticks" (given the together/separate arms of the study, plus immediate feedback/no immediate feedback; and there's mention of other studies that didn't show this "less activity" effect. They seem to be talking about couples who were relatively new to an exercise challenge, being given a specific assignment, not people pursuing exercise because it makes them happy or they enjoy doing it together. (I'm sure they had to agree to participate, but that's not necessarily an indicator of enthusiasm for the specific thing they were directed to do.)

    When I had a spouse (widowed now), we did some active things together, and some apart. I probably worked harder on the things we did together when he was present, because he was significantly the more naturally athletic, and in some case more dedicated and experienced with those particular things. I wanted him to be proud of me, not ashamed. I didn't slack or goldbrick. Why? Because I wanted to do those things (he didn't force me) and I wanted to improve at them; and because . . . I don't mostly slack or goldbrick at things I choose to do (it's not fun). He didn't hold back to let me keep up, either - trust me.

    If someone ordered me to do specific things and to do them with my spouse, that would be different. The study sounds like they ordered people to walk, and ordered a segment of them to do it together. That would make it more logistically difficult to do, wouldn't it? Synchronizing schedules and preferences, that sort of thing? It seems like if I had a steps goal, and wanted to walk with my spouse, I'd walk with my spouse when it was convenient/fun for us to do it together, and by myself at other times. That doesn't seem to have been the study design.

    I'm not buying that this tells us anything useful or actionable.

    If I ever have a spouse again, I'd do things with them that were fun for both of us and fun to do together, and not do things together that we didn't both enjoy doing together. I wouldn't predict a performance penalty for the ones we did together.
  • CrazyMermaid1
    CrazyMermaid1 Posts: 339 Member
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    The Peloton ad says they love it though.

    Remember that Peloton ad where the guy gave his wife the bike and the backlash that proceeded it?
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,676 Member
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    My personal experience is the opposite. My husband and I used to hike, backpack or do trailwork together every weekend. When we retired, we hiked even more often as we traveled around the country. When we got a dog, we walked him together. A few years ago, my husband developed Parkinson's. Movement is difficult for him, and painful. We stopped hiking together as well as backpacking and trail work. I still do short hikes, but nothing like we did together, mostly because I don't like to be away for him all day and because I don't like long drives by myself. I do most of the dog walks, though he joins me for a very slow afternoon walk most days. He should be doing exercise regularly to slow down progression of his disease. He won't do anything unless I am there with him, combination of apathy and fear of falling, I think.

    Sometimes one half of a partnership is more enthusiastic than the other. If they can motivate their partner, more exercise will happen. If the less eager partner prevails, then less will happen. It depends on the dynamics.
  • xbowhunter
    xbowhunter Posts: 957 Member
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    Do you really trust a study coming out of Singapore? lol
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,175 Member
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    xbowhunter wrote: »
    Do you really trust a study coming out of Singapore? lol

    If it is in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, then yes. From what I can tell, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction is peer-reviewed.

    Does that mean the findings are correct? Hell no. That's why science is so awesome. We keep adding to our knowledge. A good scientist will admit when additional data shows that their conclusions were wrong. Einstein did. Linus Pauling did. Francis and Crick did. It's true that scientists are human, and humans have egos. It's tough to admit you're wrong, but a GOOD scientist will laud another who shows that they made an error or their conclusions were wrong.

    There may be significant flaws in this study, and even other MFP member here have identified some.

    I just thought it was interesting, and I'm glad it fostered some dialogue.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,984 Member
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    xbowhunter wrote: »
    Do you really trust a study coming out of Singapore? lol

    Why not?
    Why would a study done in Singapore be any more or less reliable than one done anywhere else?
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 8,978 Member
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    Maybe it was a joke in reference to Pirates of the Caribbean...
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,175 Member
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    nossmf wrote: »
    Maybe it was a joke in reference to Pirates of the Caribbean...

    Oh.

    I should maybe get out more. I don't see a lot of movies.

    My whitewater raft is white on top and black on the bottom with a yellow rubstrake. For a while I thought of calling it Black Pearl, but I'm not a pirate. I also thought I'd call it "White Side Up," but I feared people might think that I meant something I didn't mean. I ended up calling it "Bumblebee." Because I bumble....

    qikrjbadx6vf.jpg
  • NVR2OLD1961
    NVR2OLD1961 Posts: 28 Member
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    If you think you can benefit from a study on a topic like this just follow its advice. Personally I think it would be one of the more useless studies I’ve heard of. Seriously, if you’re going to base your life on some study you could very well be missing out on something that could be a benefit to your physical goals and your relationship with your spouse. If you’re wondering if excersize with your spouse will hinder you why not just try it first and screw the advice from the study or even me for that matter? Just sharing my thoughts.
  • xbowhunter
    xbowhunter Posts: 957 Member
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    If you think you can benefit from a study on a topic like this just follow its advice. Personally I think it would be one of the more useless studies I’ve heard of. Seriously, if you’re going to base your life on some study you could very well be missing out on something that could be a benefit to your physical goals and your relationship with your spouse. If you’re wondering if excersize with your spouse will hinder you why not just try it first and screw the advice from the study or even me for that matter? Just sharing my thoughts.

    I like it common sense! :)