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Boomers building muscle at the gym -- without passion
Date:8/6/2014

This news release is available in French.

Montreal, August 5, 2014 As the first generation to embrace exercise, baby boomers continue going to the gym, yet more out of necessity than for the challenge and enjoyment of physical activity.

In a study recently published in the International Journal of Wellbeing, James Gavin, a professor in Concordia's Department of Applied Human Sciences, investigates our motivations for exercise, from looking good to having fun. He finds that for the baby boom generation, passion is the most important motivator a fact the fitness industry should embrace.

He says that once we connect with our passion, motivation can flow backward to sustain participation in cross-training activities: for instance a person will be keener to put in time on the treadmill if she knows it will help her have more fun skiing in winter.

Gavin's study surveyed 1,885 participants at YMCA facilities across Montreal and examined responses by age-group breaking answers down by decade, from the teens to 50 and over. Of four major motivation categories, "toned and fit" was the top motivator in all age groups, followed by "stress reduction."

Yet perhaps more unexpectedly for a generation who came of age in the era when exercise became a way of life, the two final categories, "mental toughness" (defined as embracing activity for its adventure and challenge) and "fun and friends" (social motivations), both declined with increasing age.

Gavin says he's surprised by the findings, but less so when he surveys the scene at his local gym. "Exercise is often perceived as a necessary evil. When I go to a gym and look around, I don't see a lot of excitement or laughter people are putting in their time almost as prisoners on their solit
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Contact: Cléa Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
51-484-824-245-068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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