Today’s older adults are a frisky and diversified bunch, according to a recent poll conducted by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Here’s a look at the most popular sports and athletic activities (based on participation frequency) among Americans 55 and older, for the year 2002:
Let your older female clients know that the exercise they are doing with you today may give them many more tomorrows, according to a research report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, May 14.
In an article in the December 23, 2002, issue of the Los Angeles Times, Martin Miller reported that tens of thousands of Americans over 50 participate in organized team sports. He also stated that, considering that almost 21 million baby boomers are expected to turn 50 over the next 5 years, the number of such leagues may grow considerably.
Since the mid-1990s, the fitness industry has been readying itself for a rising tide of older adults. Fitness professionals have grown with this nich market, trying to anticipate its needs and learning on a daily basis which direction to take. While we don't have all the answers to what the best modifications are, what the proper marketing plan is or whatever even whether to call these clients "seniors" or "older adults" (or both), we do know there is a need for specialized fitness services.
Aging is something that happens to all of us, whether we want it to or not. It brings with it life’s experiences and challenges. One such challenge, a decline in functional abilities, is due in large part to a decreased fitness level. Thanks to a mound of scientific evidence that would make believers of even the most skeptical among us, we now know that most of this decline can be prevented, reversed or delayed through exercise.
Working with a group of seniors offers many unique challenges and innumerable rewards. Designing a safe, appropriate and enjoyable program for this special population takes specific training, experience and planning that go beyond the physical aspects of the workout. Seniors face losses of many kinds and are often dealing with emotional issues that require your involvement. It is quite common, for example, to have a class member who is caring for an ailing spouse or grieving over the recent death of a loved one.
While I loved him dearly, I remember my grandfather as a very pessimistic man. He would regularly tell me that getting old inevitably led to the body breaking down, one thing failing after another, until you finally died. In his view, getting old was unchangeable.
re you an older adult who exercises? Do you wonder if your diet is helping or hindering your workouts? Here are some nutrition tips from Jenna Bell-Wilson, MS, RD, LD, the media representative for the New Mexico Dietetic Association and a doctoral student in exercise physiology at the University of New Mexico.
Explorers once searched for the fountain of youth, and old legends tell of magic potions that keep
people young. The ancient questions—Why do people grow old? How can we live longer?—still
fascinate people, including the
scientists who study aging (gerontologists). But their most important question is this: How can people stay healthy and independent as they grow older?