Exercising with a Personal Trainer for Seniors
Regardless of your age, exercise can improve quality of life. Anyone can see improvements at any stage of life, including seniors. Just like children and adults, seniors need to engage in cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises to stay healthy and maintain as much strength and functionality as possible. Seniors stand to make significant physical gains from physical conditioning and working with a personal trainer has significant benefits compared to exercising alone.
Seniors should have a check up and get a clearance prior to beginning an exercise program.
Personal training for seniors addresses many of the declines in function that can occur with age (loss of balance, coordination, strength and endurance) that lead to a lower quality of life and less overall independence.
Most YMCA’s and community centers have senior-friendly personal trainers who offer special programs and group training for older adults.
Benefits of Personal Training for Seniors
- The supervision of a personal trainer guarantees the most benefits with the least amount of risks.
- A personal trainer can closely monitor typical versus unusual exercise responses for an older adult.
- The socialization aspect of personal training either one on one or in groups proves beneficial to seniors.
- Personal trainers can work closely with other health professionals as a team to provide the best program for the senior.
- Personal trainers can also empower seniors with healthy lifestyle guidelines which seniors may tend to neglect as they get older.
- Personal trainers can help seniors to have more functional lives and live longer, stronger more productive years.
- Personal trainers can contribute to a senior being more independent as they get older.
Seniors should be sure to visit the facility and make sure they are comfortable in the atmosphere. Some of the factors a senior might be sensitive to are the temperature of the training facility, the type and volume of music played, cleanliness, and so on. The facility should have easy access; good parking and make the senior feel welcome.
It’s also important for the senior to have supportive foot wear and breathable clothing for their exercise program. A personal trainer who specializes in working with seniors will be able to share all of the individual details for the best possible experience, considering each senior can have a unique set of abilities and goals.
There are many continuing education courses available for personal trainers to take pertaining to working with seniors. It should not be challenging for a senior to find a qualified certified fitness professional who specializes in senior fitness.
Here are some safety tips for seniors who are engaging in exercise:
- Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Little by little build up your activities and how hard you work at them.
- Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure. It may seem strange at first, but the rule is to breathe out as you lift something; breathe in as you relax.
Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
- Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty when you are doing activities. Many older adults don’t feel thirsty even if their body needs fluids.
- Hire a personal trainer, at least initially to supervise your exercises, make sure you are performing each exercise correctly, using proper form and getting the most benefits.