It’s a universally known fact by now that the global population is living longer thanks to the remarkable strides and advancements made in medicine and health technology to sustain healthier and longer lives. While it can be a good sign to humanity in general, this trend leads to an increase in the proportions of the size of the older population on top of a decreasing birth rate. The ageing population brings about a myriad of concerns for the public, especially around the global economy and healthcare. However, at the same time, it allows for new job opportunities to open up in a new niche, such as fitness coaching for older adults to be able to help the ageing group make healthier lifestyle choices.
Why exercise matters for seniors
Whether globally or locally, the ageing population all need to exercise for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is a great benefit to older adults to prevent sickness and disability. As you age, your mobility may start to deteriorate, which can lead to more injuries and illnesses. However, with regular exercise, the deterioration can be slowed if not stopped. While debilitating illnesses from old age including Alzheimer’s may not be preventable, sicknesses like the flu and other mobility issues such as falling and muscle injury can be staved off for much longer.
Other than that, exercising regularly is an excellent way to maintain and improve one’s cognitive and mental health. Allowing your mind to focus on simple tasks like walking around the neighbourhood can improve your memory, and boost your problem-solving ability as well as your emotional and mental health. Exercise is also a great excuse to be able to be outside in nature, which can be highly invigorating for people of all ages.
A fitness routine or an exercise class can also serve as a place for socialisation for some older adults. Once people retire, opportunities to meet new people and create new social routines can be fewer and farther between. There is a lot of news about solitary people in their older age without essential human interaction, which can lead to depression and anxiety among other health issues, so having a fitness routine may help keep these problems at bay, and improve the overall quality of life for older adults.
Why tailored fitness programmes for the elderly are a necessity
It is not a surprise that an ageing population will lead to an increase in demand for fitness programmes for the elderly. Most readily available exercise programmes, be it online or offline, do not cater to the older age group. Some can be too physically challenging, while others simply do not serve their needs. Gym equipment is also made for the active and competent younger demographic, targeting intensive muscle-building and strength training. This may limit the number of gym supplies that are inclusive and accessible to older gym customers. These factors alone can lead to higher risks for injuries during exercise. As the body ages, hormone issues and slower recovery can also be a huge contributing factor to numerous body changes that can be hard to understand for trainers who are not specialising in elderly healthcare.
Ways to adapt fitness programmes for the ageing population
The key to an inclusive fitness programme for an ageing population is to start slowly and steadily. The body of a regular adult may need some time to adapt to a new exercise routine, and older adults will need even more than that. It is of course advisable to have your fitness sessions monitored by a professional in order to mitigate injury as best as possible. A certified fitness professional will also be able to correct your postures to improve your workout and optimise your energy levels. On top of that, remember to always use slow and consistent movements in the workouts so you do not overexert your body.
Other than gym workouts, specialised home workout programmes and home exercise equipment are also available for use in the market. Home workouts are often favoured due to their cost-effectiveness and convenience, so if you are looking to take your workouts to the next level, it may be worth a shot to look into some subscriptions or video classes targeted at your age group. On top of that, there are many home workout equipment you can get at an affordable price to add more to your home workout. Overall, these strategies can be a great beginning in finding and incorporating a well-rounded regimen into your everyday life from as early as possible.
In a nutshell
Health is truly wealth. The global population is now seeing a significant ageing trend which can bring about a butterfly effect in the future. It is important now more than ever to make sure that the health of the ageing community continues to be taken care of. Making exercising inclusive to the older population is one easy step to ensure the community maintains a sense of independence and avoids further strain on their lives. If you would like to be a part of the movement to promote a healthier lifestyle for the elderly, get certification via our PT courses.