Vitality Club

Daily exercise is good for health and gives rhythm and structure to your day
According to the guidelines of the Dutch Health Council, adults should exercise moderately intense for at least 150 minutes per week. Unfortunately, many do not meet this standard. While enough exercise can significantly increase mobility, quality of life and longevity. Especially for people over 50, sufficient exercise is essential, given the risk of age-related disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes and joint complaints. The goal of the Vitality Club is that peers motivate each other to jointly integrate exercise into the daily routine and thus grow old in a healthier and happier manner. In addition to the health benefits that an hour of exercise a day yields, the participants also experience the social aspect as very valuable.

Vitality Club is a non-profit organization, initiated by Leyden Academy. It is an example of peer-coaching: people who try to achieve a goal together. An already existing successful and inspiring role model on the vitality level is the FreeWheel Club in Ulft, the Netherlands. The physical fitness level of the participants has been measured over time and is improving, while the conditions of similar aged but inactive seniors is declining. Researchers from Leyden Academy have monitored the progress of members of the FreeWheel Club and published the results in scientific journal Translational Behavioral Medicine on 9 January 2018. In June 2020, the Vitality Club was recognized by RIVM, the National Institute for Health and Environment,  as an exercise intervention.

Happier and healthier
Leyden Academy initially set up three experimental peer coaching sports clubs for older adults in the city of Leiden. The goal is to empower seniors to take charge of their daily exercise and integrate this into their routine to become healthier and happier as they age. It seems to be working, as more and more Vitality Clubs in the Netherlands are being set up, and the participants experience the health benefits and pleasure of exercising together.

For more information, please contact David van Bodegom.