Wellness Wednesday – Baby Boomer Fitness Trends

Senior couple riding bicycles

In her Next Avenue article Boomers Took Fitness and Made It Their Own, author Lynn Langway explains how exercisers who are over the age of 50 are reshaping the fitness industry.

“Clearly, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was onto something when its annual survey listed “programs for older adults” among the top 20 fitness trends for 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 32 percent of older adults get no physical exercise whatsoever in their leisure time.

‘Your aging body starts calling out for more balanced workouts,’ says Grace DeSimone, a spokesperson for ACSM and group instructor at the Wyckoff Family YMCA in Wyckoff, N.J. ‘Strength and flexibility become major factors.'”

We can’t help getting older, but we can age successfully. The more active, healthy, and fit you are now, the better you will feel as you get older.

Expert Tips for No-Sweat Workouts

To keep yourself moving with minimum risk of injury, follow these tips from two certified trainers who are boomers themselves:

  • “Watch before you do,” counsels YMCA instructor DeSimone. Talk to trainers about the class schedule, and observe classes that interest you.
  • Don’t skimp on warm-ups. “You’ve got to oil up the Tin Man,” says DeSimone.
  • Talk to the teacher before you take a class. Let him or her know about any injuries or limitations. Ask how to modify movements to suit your abilities, suggests Regina Jordan, who teaches free classes at community centers in Manhattan that are run by the Health Advocates for Older People .
  • Listen to your body. If jumping jacks or other movements give you twinges, Jordan says, “don’t do them if they don’t feel comfortable.”
  • Learn to custom-tailor your workouts. Many gyms offer a free consultation to start. You may be able to continue workouts you like if you adjust the intensity: use lighter weights, spin at a lower gear on your bike, replace jumps with side-steps, add shorter bursts of intense activity.
  • Vary what you do. Don’t take multiple spinning or zumba classes in a row; alternate.
  • Practice everyday exercise. Walk to as many errands as possible, lift groceries with proper form, take the stairs when you can.

Read more about Baby Boomers Fitness Trends.

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