Establishing a workout program that includes the right exercises with the appropriate frequency and intensity is an important step in achieving your fitness goals. It is also a vital tool that can help you preserve independence well into your golden years.
Working with a personal trainer offers numerous benefits which include assessing your current fitness level, developing a personalized program that addresses your strengths and weaknesses, and setting achievable goals.
In this blog, we’ll explore what personal trainers do, how personal trainers can help seniors, and how to find a personal trainer that’s right for you. To ensure your safety, consult your primary care provider before starting any exercise program.
What Do Personal Trainers Do?
A personal trainer will work with you one-on-one and begin by assessing and evaluating your current physical needs. This will include discussing what exercises you’re already doing to determine if changes are necessary. A personal trainer will help you identify goals and create a workout routine to achieve them.
Most personal trainers specialize in functional movement, which is important for everyone but especially so for seniors. Functional movement refers to our ability to perform daily household tasks such as bending down to pick up something from the floor or lifting a bag of groceries. Functional movement exercises are designed to mimic these activities, which can help make them easier while also reducing the risk of falls.
In addition to setting goals and creating a workout plan, a personal trainer will ensure you are using proper form and technique when exercising. Proper form is essential in preventing injuries. Personal trainers can also serve as a source of motivation to help you stay consistent with your exercise routine.
Benefits of Personal Trainers for Seniors
Exercise can strengthen your muscle and bones, help you maintain flexibility, and reduce your risk of falling. Seniors are at an increased risk of falling, which can lead to injuries and increased dependence on others. A personal trainer can develop a personalized program that addresses existing weaknesses and incorporates strength, balance, and endurance training.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of personal trainers for seniors:
- A focus on common problems of older adults. A personal trainer who specializes in working with seniors will maintain a focus on joint health and safety while creating a safe exercise plan.
- Reassurance and motivation to help build confidence. Starting an exercise routine can be intimidating. Working with a personal trainer can help you gain confidence and provide reassurance as you work to meet your goals.
- Realistic goal-setting. A personal trainer can help you set up realistic goals that are progressive, which will prevent you from doing too much, too soon. This type of plan will not only lower the risk of injury but it will help make working out more enjoyable. A personal trainer can also create attainable goals based on your abilities and adjust them as needed.
- Flexible workout schedule and duration. A workout plan may look different for an older adult. Due to health conditions or endurance, the sessions may need to be shorter but increased in frequency during the week.
Tips on Finding a Personal Trainer for Older Adults
Not all personal trainers are created equal in health and wellness programs. It’s important to do your research when you’re on the hunt for a personal trainer.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while doing your search:
- Check the credentials of the personal trainer. Do they have a degree in exercise science, kinesiology, or a related field? What professional certifications do they hold? Do they have experience working with seniors?
- Consider a Medicare wellness program. SilverSneakers is an example of a wellness program geared toward keeping seniors active and fit. Often, your insurance plan includes access to SilverSneakers or a similar program. Benefits might include gym memberships, group fitness classes, and well-trained instructors with experience working with older adults.
- Request a complimentary session. Once you find a gym you’d like to join, request a complimentary session with a personal trainer alongside a free week’s pass to visit the center. This allows you to determine if both the gym and the trainer are right for you.
- Compare pricing among personal trainers. Once you determine your budget, gather pricing details from personal trainers who make the top of your list. Find out what services are included in each session and the length of time you’ll receive hands-on guidance. This step will help you weigh the pros and cons of each when considering the cost.
- Research personal trainer apps. Exercising in the comfort of your own home is not only convenient but also cost-effective, especially if you take advantage of a high-quality workout using an app on your mobile device. Apps like FiiT and Daily Burn are subscription-based apps that offer free trials with a wide range of classes across different levels of difficulty. You’ll be able to set up a workout plan that meets your goals and allows you to track your progress. This can be a great option if you have worked with a personal trainer in the past and have good form and technique.
Explore Additional Articles on Health & Wellness
There’s a wealth of information for you to explore on health & wellness topics in The Bristal’s blog. Learn the health benefits of exercise, find easy, low-impact exercises, and more under our Lifestyle category.