WHY SHOULD A SENIOR CITIZEN GET PERSONAL TRAINING?
- Decrease of medical risk
- Improved Lifestyle
- Balance and stability
- Focused, one-on-one personal training is ‘personal’
When we think of ‘fitness’ the first image that pops into our brain is a packed gym of young, fit people full of sweat doing beach biceps curls and sit-ups. The fitness industry ads and resources are often pointed at this younger crowd and missing a huge, aging, senior population that really needs our attention. As this aging population increases, so should our ability to keep this crowd healthy and fit. The benefits work in everyone’s favour! Personal training is a great tool for senior fitness. It will not only help to increase life expectancy, decrease medical risks and improve lifestyles, but it also gives seniors one-on-one fitness attention for their specific goals and needs. There are many reasons to work with a personal trainer, but for senior citizens those reasons are even more plentiful:
It is true! Exercise can increase your life span! We have all heard this and the science backs up the rhetoric. As we age the intensity of the exercise may decrease but that doesn’t mean that it stops all together. Even moderate exercise increases the years we live. We all know that a good cardio workout is great for the heart, and isn’t the heart the most important muscle in the body? A happy cardiovascular system means a longer life! This article by Live Science breaks down the extra years exercising can add to your life.
DECREASE OF MEDICAL RISK:
As we age the wear and tear on our bodies increases. We lose muscle and bone mass, our reaction time slows, our metabolic rate slows down increasing fat deposits, and we increase our susceptibility to serious medical risks. These health risks have a better chance of being avoided by keeping up a regular fitness regime. Adult-onset (type 2) diabetes is a great example of a high-risk, chronic disease that can be controlled by regular exercise and, of course, quality nutrition. Exercise is known to help control your blood sugar levels and increases your fat burning… decreasing the risk of diabetes. The science involved is way more complicated than I have simply stated here, but you get the idea! Heart problems, obesity and many other high-risk complications can be reduced with exercise, that is just a fact.
There are so many medical reasons for the aging population to exercise, but what about lifestyle enjoyment? Working with a personal trainer can have many benefits. Having stronger muscles, better cardio, and increased range of motion will reflect in the day-to-day enjoyment of everyone, but especially will be appreciated by people as they age:
- Strength increase. Something as simple as getting your groceries from your car can be easier. A personal trainer will not only give you ‘functional exercise’ but they will show you how to do it properly. Weightlifting should be carefully prescribed, and as we get older the need for proper coaching increases. Having that dedicated set of eyes on you is a great way to keep in check when progressing through a fitness periodization.
- Balance and stability decrease as you age. Personal trainers know all sorts of fun exercises to work on balance and stabilizing muscles! Sometimes these aren’t our ‘favourite’ exercises, but risk of falls increase with age… and if you don’t use it you lose it!
- Flexibility also decreases as we age; muscles and tendons get tighter which decreases range of motion and blood flow to joints. Range of motion exercises are way more the norm now than they were 10 years ago. Foam rollers, stretching and flexibility training should be part of your trainer’s regime with you.
- Confidence is an undervalued reason for being more fit as we age. The ability to climb a ladder, lift a heavy object, cross a street quickly, go for a hike, or grab something from the top shelf in your house all may seem trivial to anyone under the age of 60, but to a senior these actions can be challenging. Working with a personal trainer (possibly doing Olympic weightlifting or cardio exercise) will provide the confidence to not only achieve these moves with success but also without a second thought… which is real confidence shining through!
FOCUSED ONE ON ONE ‘PERSONAL’ TRAINING:
Personal training is great for the senior population because it is all about them! There are great fitness classes and fitness facilities geared towards the aging population. Those should not be discounted, and, of course, they are financially more reasonable. These classes, though, are designed and created for general population fitness, not individual needs. People with injuries or specific goals should be seeking a more ‘focused’ fitness program. Personal training for seniors is all about the individual. Coming back from an injury? Have major fitness goals? Why not get personal training sessions? This way you will see your fitness results sky rocket!
I have been personal training for 20 years and I have personally seen the results of an aging population have great success with fitness. Health in terms of fitness is a great reward, but I really do believe health in terms of mental confidence in one’s own abilities is the greater reward. The ability to function on your own, and function well, is the true gift of fitness. Working with a trainer will not only give the aging population a safe environment in which to continue working out but it will also provide seniors the ability to progress to a stronger, fitter version of themselves! If you are in Vancouver or Kitsilano, and you are looking for personal training studio for the senior population, please reach out to us to get set up with one of our experienced trainers.