That is one big question.
I’ll start off by saying that as fitness professionals we don’t prescribe diets so I really don’t have an answer for that portion of your question.
However, regarding the rest of your question, you state that:
1. Your client is in average health.
Are you saying that she is in average health for a 50-year-old woman? If that is the case, how do you define “average health” for women of that age group? Personally, I know some women over 50 who are more conditioned that women much younger than themselves. In a nutshell, the program you design for your client will be dependent upon the results you get from the fitness assessments you use to determine her current level of conditioning.
I wish I could give you more clarity, however, your question is a bit unclear.
the starting point for any client, regardless of age, is the fitness assessment which should give you a clear road map on how to proceed.
Keep in mind that, as women, we have less muscle to start with, and 50 is an age where most women would be in menopause when the metabolism has a way of slowing down, leading to easier weight gain. In addition to that, there is a concern about bone mineral density and the risk of osteoporosis.
While your training program should include all the traditional components and should thus not differ from training younger women, strength and balance training should be made a priority.
The new to exercise older adults do not want to do plyometrics. Make sure to do the detailed consultation to find out all about them and their fitness level for a starting point. Also, keep the fitness program balanced. About diet, keep that an overall, healthy balance, as well.
Hi Renee. If I can assume that the 50+ year old woman does NOT have any medical issues then my answer would be “no.” However, as with anything, I would adjust the program to the specific needs and current fitness level of the particular woman. IF (and this is a big “if”) the woman had any medical issues (including those attendant to aging such as osteoporosis) then YES, I would design a program that was “different” from that I would design for a person not with those issues.
I would assess her as you assess all other clients and analyze her needs.
Together you can outline a realistic program for her.
As for diet, I am using myfitnesspal.com with my clients, it’s a great way for them to get to know the basics of nutrition. It’s a free app.
There is a book called
Fitness After 50 by Walter Ettinger: Brenda Wright and and Steven Blair