I am a 66 year old qualified personal trainer, and not surprisingly the majority of my clients fall into the 55 to 75 year old age category.
There is a lot of information on the internet about exercise and the older adult. To someone who has never used exercise as a means of staying healthy though, it can all look very intimidating. There is no “one size fits all” category when it comes to fitness. Nobody begins at the same starting point, but it is possible for us all to arrive at a happy point. It is never too late to start a fitness program and it is often easier to find the time needed as we get older. Getting into a routine that involves exercise can really improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults undertake 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week. For older adults with a history of inactivity, that may seem too big a mountain to climb at first, but by starting off with a long term strategy, they can still reach their goals in “bite size” chunks.
My job is to work with older clients of all standards and help them get the most out of their time, while exercising safely with supervision and encouragement. I have found that it is very important to follow some simple rules to achieve this:
- Set realistic, achievable goals and targets
- Take small steps to begin with
- Be consistent with your fitness program
- Remember, you will have good days and bad days. Enjoy your good days and put bad days down to experience.
The saying “Your health is your wealth” is one that most people can relate to, particularly as we get older. So, it makes sense to try and keep as healthy as possible as we go into our 60s.
If you think you are ready to start a fitness program, take action. Have courage and go for it. It is a good idea to contact your GP beforehand because your trainer will ask you to fill in a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire.
The first step is the hardest.