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.
It is well known that the United States faces a childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, 81% of respondents in a poll on the topic considered childhood obesity a serious concern and two-thirds believed the problem was getting worse (Hassink, Hill & Biddinger 2011). Actually, national surveys show a stabilization of childhood obesity rates and even small declines in some localities (RWJF 2012).
Preadolescence is a time of major change and growth, bringing psychological, physical and social shifts for boys and girls alike. Caught between the carefree days of childhood and the first throes of being a teenager, “tweens” (roughly aged 9–12) are a force to be reckoned with. Like many other populations, preadolescents are suffering from lack of exercise, which threatens to chart a course toward obesity and disease.
Your older clients are no doubt interested in complementing a fit body with a fit mind. Well, new study evidence suggests they can slow cognitive impairment by playing a few hours of “brain fit” video games designed to speed up and improve mental processing.
As the human brain ages, its executive function skills—which include perception, attention, memory, abstract thinking and problem solving—tend to diminish. Since many of us are living longer lives, scientists are motivated to identify ways to prevent this loss.
newsletter_teaser: Good news for kids and the people who care about them: Under the new "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, America's students will be offered healthier food options during the school day.
Fitness professionals are an important part of the solution to the childhood obesity epidemic. One of the most compelling studies to demonstrate success in combating childhood obesity involved MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It), an intervention in which fitness professionals who were trained as health coaches delivered a 24-session curriculum to children and families over 3 months in communities and schools.
The U.S. population is aging, which makes now the perfect time for fitness professionals to learn more about training older adults. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050, one in every five Americans will be considered a senior. The U.S. Census Bureau also predicts that between now and 2030, the 65 and older population will grow an average of 2.8% annually.
Training older adults is very gratifying. They tend to be highly motivated and goal oriented. My clients in their 70s, 80s and 90s have often been told to exercise by their physicians. For these clients, the goal in training is, above all, to be healthy. Beyond that, they want to maintain their quality of life and independent living status.