"If somebody had told me I'd feel like I do now, I wouldn't have believed them…" older adults' experiences of the BELL trial: a qualitative study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study examined older adults' experiences of participating in the Ballistic Exercise of the Lower Limb (BELL) trial, involving 12-weeks of group-based hardstyle kettlebell training.

METHODS: In the BELL trial, 28 insufficiently active older adults (15 women, 13 men, 59-79 years) completed six weeks of face-to-face group training, and six weeks of home-based training. In-depth semi-structured interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and inductively coded, with themes constructed from patterns of shared meaning.

RESULTS: Four higher-order themes were developed that reflect older adults' experiences participating in a group-exercise program of hardstyle kettlebell training. These included: (1) "It's one of the best things we've done"-enjoying the physical and psychosocial benefits, (2) "It's improved it tremendously!"-change in a long-term health condition, (3) "It put me on a better course"-overcoming challenges, and (4) "I wasn't just a number"-feeling part of a group/community.

DISCUSSION: Findings highlight the perceived physical and psychological benefits of older adults participating in hardstyle group kettlebell training, and the value attributed to being part of an age-matched community of like-minded people engaged in group exercise. Implications for program design and delivery, and future research, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022

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