Engaging in bridge employment—
defined as part-time, temporary or self-employment—as a transition to permanent retirement may enhance the health of older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (2009; 14 , 374–89). Data analysis from 12,189 retirees
enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study formed the basis for this finding.
As the body ages, it is vitally important to maintain bone health through weight-bearing activity. According to a recent report, higher-impact physical activity may be beneficial for improving bone strength. Published in the November/
December issue of Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach (2009; 1 , 508–13), the report suggests that bone mineral density (BMD) can increase significantly in older athletes who participate in high-impact sports.
Active Baby Boomers, or “Zoomers,” are a largely untapped market for boot camp–
style classes. Zoomers were at the heart of the running and aerobics crazes of the 1980s and still want to maintain a high level of fitness. At the same time they may be cognizant of previous injuries and current limitations.
The Baby Boomer (45–63 years of age) and senior (64 and older) populations represent the fastest-growing sectors in America and are the economic groups with the most disposable income. What’s more, Boomers recognize the importance of achieving and maintaining their health and are willing to spend money on experts in the fields of prehabilitation (designed to improve strength, stability and/or overall general conditioning prior to surgery) and corrective exercise in order to maintain their level of activity as they age.
The Brain Emporium, a brain exercise center founded and directed by T.J. McCallum, associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, opened at the Fairhill Center in Cleveland in March 2009. The Brain Emporium is another example of the growing popularity of computer-based mental fitness games.
Feldenkrais Method balance classes can help older adults improve balance and mobility, according to
a small study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2009; June 24, epub ahead of print). Research suggests that balance training may be more effective in preventing falls than either strength or endurance training.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults aged 65 and older falls each year. Seniors are hospitalized 5 times more often for fall-related injuries than for any other type of injury. One cause of falls among older adults is disorders of the inner ear vestibular system, stated a recent study.
IDEA member John Platero, director of
education for the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers, won four medals (three gold, one silver) at the California Senior Games in June in Pasadena. In a bid to prove that age is no hindrance, Platero took first place in the men’s 50–54 group for the 5K, 10K and 20K cycling events, and silver for the 40K. He went on to compete in the 2009 Summer National Senior Games in Palo Alto, California, in August, taking first place in both the 20K and 40K cycling competitions.
It is the physiological changes that occur with aging that alter nutrient needs. Gradual loss of lean body mass and reduced energy expenditure lower caloric needs. However, nutrient needs remain the same or in some cases increase.