The heart does remarkable work. Roughly the size of a human fist, the heart pumps blood every second of every day, delivering nutrients and oxygen to organs and tissues, and sending waste to filters in the kidneys, liver and lungs.
Yet not every heart works well. A healthy heart relies on a self-generating electrical signaling system to keep it pumping at the right pace; heart maladies that disrupt the signals can dramatically impact a client’s health. Collectively, we call these maladies heart arrhythmias.
Whether it’s poultry pumped with banned substances, animal cruelty in industrial farming or salmonella in peanut butter, we seem to be hearing more often these days about profound problems within our food supply chain. A recent measure signed into law by President Barack Obama that outlines the strongest federal whistleblower protections in history could change that.
Over the past few years, boot camps and outdoor exercise classes have been gaining popularity. According to the “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2013,” published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal (2012; 16 , 8–17), boot camps ranked number 16 in popularity for 2013. Outdoor activities also showed up in the top trends, ranking 13.
With the Baby Boomer population aging, movement professionals have to become more prepared to meet the needs of older adults. And while it may be tempting to think seniors need less when it comes to program development, clients of advanced age actually need more.
It’s not enough to modify the intensity or safety of their fitness programs. It’s also essential to understand how the mindset that older clients bring to a session—in this case a fear of falling—can influence their exercise needs.
PERMA-based fitness training can pack a positive punch for IDEA fitness professionals looking to contribute to the well-being of our fast-growing population of active older adults.
What Is PERMA?
PERMA is devoted to developing social and mental strength, which can be very helpful in motivating older exercisers. The acronym was coined by Martin Seligman, considered the father of modern positive psychology, in Flourish:
The term arthritis describes two distinctly separate medical conditions: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). RA is an autoimmune disease that results in swollen, painful joints, which are a contraindication to exercise. If a client has this symptom, ask him or her to wait until it has diminished before exercising.
Accurate data are needed to determine which corrective strategies a client needs. A trained, experienced corrective exercise specialist will also be able to pinpoint movement errors. Repetition and coaching will sharpen assessment skills.
If you are ingesting aloe vera as part of a supplemental regimen to detoxify your body, to balance stomach acidity or to promote overall well-being, the Centers for Science in the Public Interest urges you to think twice.
In August, the CSPI gave aloe vera an “avoid” rating in its “Chemical Cuisine” guide to food additives (www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm), citing studies by the U.S. government showing that aloe vera extracts caused intestinal cancers in male and female lab rats. "Save it for sunburns," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
Working with clients who have had gastric bypass surgery requires some extra caution and attention. I first met one such client about a year after her surgery. I asked her a ton of questions because I wanted to understand her motivation, why she decided to have the surgery, what her experience had been living with the result, what her restrictions and limitations were and how she was working within those limitations—her successes and challenges. One of the things I’ve learned about fitness and clients is that everything stems from their thinking process.
Exercise for older adults is one of the hottest specialties in fitness today. How do you assess function levels and develop safe, challenging programs? We asked instructors to tell us about their strategies for senior clients.newsletter_teaser: Exercise for older adults is one of the hottest specialties in fitness today. How do you assess function levels and develop safe, challenging programs? We asked instructors to tell us about their strategies for senior clients.