I am diving into more group programming, and group walking programs would fit my client’s needs. I am curious of what sorts of structure trainers have found most successful in managing walking with groups (to handle different fitness levels, speeds, etc)? I am looking at senor-specific, as well as a separate class for any age. I plan to walk with the group. Walking programs incorporating use of bands for strengthening is also an interest.
I know if you contact the Arthritis Foundation in your area, you might get some tips. Keep in mind they are conservative, but it still might give you some ideas. Perhaps do a mini survey so you can find out a little more about what the prospective clients can handle, unless you already know.
I offer group classes for those 50++ I do a fusion of interval
paced moves. It is a more senior group who live in assisted living. Although we are not going for walks, I know their capabilities and build around that in a more confined environment.
Don’t make this complicated.
Get waivers and signatures before you start. You might want to have a PAR Q sent to them electronically.
Get your group together and have them plan on one hour. Walk for ten, then do some stretching. Yes, you are going to have little groups scattered about, but you can rove back and forth among them. Intruct them prior to the event what they need to bring and wear to be comfortable. Let them know they can stop at any time. You can pick up slower walks on the trip back.
Walk in a pleasing environment. Often, it is about connecting with others while walking that older people seek.
Stretch at the end. Keep all stretches in a standing postion. Ask people what they would like to do? See how it goes and then make adjustments accordingly.