Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Age...Younger

Today, one in three Americans is 50 or older. By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. This population has embraced healthy living, and they have the time and resources to participate in organized fitness and training. The fitness industry, however, is unprepared for the unique needs of the fastest growing market in the world. The majority of the 300,000+ personal trainers in the U.S. have no formal education on how to safely and effectively train active agers.

We can’t stop the aging process, but we can influence how well we age.  The choices we make about the foods we eat or the activities we engage in will significantly affect how we age.

Be sure that the personal trainer or fitness facility you choose has been educated in the science and nuances that goes with the physiology of aging.  Here are just a few things to consider when choosing a trainer, program, or facility:

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Cardiovascular Health is Important at Any Age

 Older members are focusing on muscle retention and healthy heart levels like younger members and can benefit from full body functional movements that eliminate the high-impact force. As you participate in specific programming, remember that strength training and intense cardio are important components of any senior health plan.

Determining Past Workout History Lends a Clear Training Future

When it comes to the initial meeting with a new trainer, trainers should gather as much background information as possible concerning past injuries, fitness history, and current pain points. “A better, consistent health history—joint pain, any sort of underlying issue—should be heard before starting a program. Listening and observing how you move should also be top priorities for trainers meeting mature clients for the first time.

Low-Impact, High-Intensity Workouts are a Winning Combination

Boot camp for active aging members can combine all of the elements needed to reach achievable fitness goals. Traditional programming, which focuses on easy, gentle and light workouts, operates on the incorrect notion that mature members cannot handle increased cardio or quick movements. Please note that some considerations need to be taken into account before beginning your first mature group training session.

Limit high-impact movements that will cause excess stress on joints through modification. Your trainer does not need to yell and scream in the class setting, cut out the loud, blaring music and shorten the rep count when it comes to circuit training.

Modify Movement for Maximized Training Results

Modification is key when it comes to moves used in boot camp programming: jumping jacks become step jacks with overhead arm movement; jump squats can be substituted with total body extensions. You can even include burpees in your routine if you take out the jump forward movement following the push up and instead step forward. These movements will successfully elevate the heart rate without sacrificing balance or safety.

Body Restoration Studio located in Berkeley Heights offers Fit After 50 Program. This program has been created by the owner, Doreen Puglisi.  Doreen has a graduate degree in Exercise Science as well as 20 years in the health and fitness industry.  She specializes in functional aging programs.                     Call: 908-464-4644 for more information.  BodyRestoreNJ.com. email: bodyrestorenj@gmail.com

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