Most people are aware that children in developed nations are experiencing epidemic levels of obesity, and that this problem is, in large part, associated with physical inactivity. However, the standard fitness recommendation to get more cardiovascular exercise may not be the best advice for overweight, underactive children. The fact is, very few children choose to spend 20 to 30 minutes doing any kind of continuous endurance exercise, regardless of the benefits or incentives.
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.
National Osteoporosis Awareness Month may be next month, but reminders about enhancing bone health are always appropriate. For example, you can remind your clients that the best defense against osteoporosis is to develop strong bones, especially before the age of 30, and that regular exercise has been shown to encourage bone growth throughout life.
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.
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.