Senior fitness personal training
In the past it was often thought that getting older was a time to slow down and take it easy. Thanks to medical research, we now know that staying active throughout your senior years not only delays the ageing process but also significantly improves your well-being and quality of life.
In fact, many of the health problems associated with older age such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and joint problems are in many cases, simply the result of leading a more sedentary lifestyle.
Through a combination of specially tailored aerobic, strength training and stretching exercises, our personal trainers will help you to dramatically improve your health and mobility.
Engaging in a light to moderate exercise programme will help to boost your energy levels and enable you to lead an active life as you get older.
Many aspects of our service are designed with our senior clients in mind. The aim is to make them feel as comfortable as possible with their new exercise regime.
You will begin with an online consultation and a 30-minute taster session so that you can meet your assigned personal trainer and sample mobile personal training first-hand. Our trainer will introduce some of the exercises and workouts they would be looking to install in your programme, should you decide to sign up. It will be the same personal trainer throughout your sessions. If you are London based, we can visit you in person for your fitness sessions. If you are outside of London we can offer online personal training sessions.
Thereafter you can sign up for a block of sessions or go for the more popular subscription option, which makes it easier to pay monthly and stay on top of regular sessions.
Why is it really important to keep elderly people active?
To elongate and to help them have a better quality of life as they age. As we get older health becomes the most pressing priority for many of our older clients as it should.
- For the mental AND physical benefits of fitness. For us, we find that the mental benefits are actually just as important as the physical. Older clients tend to experience issues such as loneliness and lower confidence and personal training can help to combat both of these. There is a clear link as cited by increasing research that exercise helps with both mental and physical decline. We focus not only on helping their body to feel strong, but also their mind.
When designing a fitness programme for senior clients, what are your top three most important considerations?
Age is just a number! 70 means nothing in this day and age. It is important to understand their fitness levels as thoroughly as possible, e.g. history of fitness. If they have always remained highly active then they will of course have a different fitness ability to another individual who has not trained before. Do not make assumptions, gather the facts!
- Don’t push them beyond a comfort level during the programme. You can very gradually intensify the exercises but senior fitness is not about exhausting your client, it should take account of their limitations and be enjoyable!
- Ask for a doctor’s note if you need it! At the stages of designing the programme you should be gathering research and asking questions, and if you feel something has not been fully answered, then ask for medical approval. The GP will make you aware of anything you need to know!
What type of exercises do you tend to focus on when designing your senior fitness personal training sessions?
Elderly clients face two major challenges that need to be addressed. They will experience reduced bone density and age related muscle loss. To help counteract this it is important to focus on strengthening exercises. We can use resistance bands and light weights as the main props. These are highly effective at getting our clients results.
- Simplicity is key, especially for older clients. You don’t need to over-complicate your exercises and make this a difficult process. Leave them with ideas and exercises that they can do themselves easily in between their sessions.
- Balance and coordination is incredibly important and should be a core component of the sessions. We always use something for support, for example a chair or the wall. Always start with a supported version of an exercise when you don’t fully know your clients limitations.
- Focus on functional activity! The most important result of any training session is that ultimately your client can get about their day with more ease and flexibility. Lifting weights will help them carry grocery bags in their everyday life. Working with a step, will help them to go up and down the stairs. Squatting into a chair will help them sit and stand without help.
How do you ensure your clients are working within a comfortable zone?
Get to know them really well. We form deep and meaningful relationships with all of our clients which means that they trust us and feel confident to open up about what feels comfortable during sessions.
- Check they can speak back to you during the exercise. This is a simple test we conduct to ensure the exercises aren’t overly difficult.
- Check they aren’t sweating or red in the face. This simple visual test can be done throughout the session and is one of the most obvious ways to check your client is always OK.
- Check their body language and form. If they are resistant to complete the next exercise, then it is clear to us that they need a break. Make breaks regular and lengthy when appropriate. If their technique and form also begins to deteriorate I tend to pause and take a five minute break until they feel energised to begin again.