Great answers. The guidelines are clear. For seniors the most important first step is to have physician clearance and to determine if there are any individual conditions which might impact on exercise program design…orthopedic conditions, cardiovascular concerns, previous injuries, etc. Other than that the individual exercise program design will be developed based on your knowledge and expertise.
It depends on the seniors. An assessment should provide you with enough information regarding their fitness level and type of workout, exercises and fitness plan which they will need to be involved at. There are certain guidelines you need to follow when putting together an exercise program and you have to take into a consideration some of the health issues, limitations and age of your participants before starting exercising.
I teach Qi Gong at several senior centers in my area and speak at conferences on aging issues, giving Qi Gong demonstrations and I have found it to be extremely beneficial for seniors. It is less intensive and restrictive than Tai Chi, which often leaves seniors overtired and frustrated when they can’t “hit” the poses required. In Qi Gong, the emphasis is on breath and on moving only to your own ability. The cool think is that my classes range from younger, very able-bodied to individuals who need to stay seated for the exercises and they all can fully participate in the same class.
I like the other answers. I would stay within the guidelines of programming and within your scope of practice and possibly re establish each persons goals at this time. Seniors like to be challenged , motivated, encouraged, surprised, and inspired along with all of the other physical attributes you can bring as a trainer.
Look at it from a programming design rather than an age category
Hi Lisa. A lot depends on the senior(s) involved. Like any other age bracket, people classified as “seniors” come in all sizes, shapes, and fitness levels. Also, the program you use may (probably will) also depend upon the age of the seniors. It’s funny that as our population gets older, and as people live longer, our definition of “seniors” hasn’t necessarily kept up with those demographic changes. In some circles, anyone over 50 is considered a senior, so your program will/should reflect the age-range as well as fitness level of your group.
I hope that this helps.