Fitness Training for Baby Boomers is one of the most active growing aspects of personal training today. Baby Boomers are people from the age of 55-65, and they are determined to maintain an active life style. One of the most important parts of their fitness training should be “Functional Exercises”. The functional exercises I focus on with my clients are as follows.
1) Aerobic Training: Walk in order to run errand or perform activities requiring stamina such as vacuuming, raking, climbing stairs, and general household chores.
2) Resistance Training for the Upper Body and Trunk: Lifting grandchildren, placing heavy objects on shelves, carry groceries, pulling weeds, washing windows.
3) Resistance Training for Lower Body: Getting up of the floor, getting out of tub, picking up heavy objects from the floor.
4) Flexibility Training for the Entire Body: Twisting around while driving, zipping up the back of a dress, reaching overhead to a cupboard, cutting toenails, putting on socks and shoes.
5) Balance and Mobility Training: Walking the dog safely, respond appropriately to unexpected losses of balance.
Fitness training for baby boomers provides many benefits, the biggest one being the ability to remain independent. The thought of a broken hip is just devastating! Regular exercise and physical activity can improve functional capacity and health and lead to greater independence and quality of life.
Functional exercises should also simulate the activities of everyday life. I have all my clients sit on a low bench and stand up and sit down several time without pushing with their hands, this simulates getting in and out of chairs or off the sofa. I also have them do most of their exercises on one leg this strongly improves balance and core strength. Doing a one legged dead lift greatly simulates picking up ones golf ball. I bet you didn’t know that the benefits of fitness training extended to your golf game!
Flexibility is a major part of fitness for baby boomers. When we were young we enjoyed freedom of movement in all our joints. As we age many factors contribute to a decline in flexibility, increased joint stiffness, changes in connective tissue, osteoarthritis. Extreme stiffness can compromise functional activities. The good news is that exercises designed to improve flexibility are very effective for older adults. You may not have the flexibility you had in your twenty’s but you will greatly enhance your physical function. Improved flexibility also helps older adults feel better by reducing pain and stiffness.
Baby Boomers are not going down easy! They are the generation that is getting new knees and shoulders. They are the ones saying that 50 is the new 30. As we live longer and longer, fitness training should become a large part of every adult’s life.
Pam Nelson, CPT (A.C.E), Fitness Trainer
Pam has been an A.C.E certified (American Council of Exercise) personal trainer for the general population since 1995. She is also a group instructor, and certified in teaching the “Mature Population”, people over 50. Her clients have varied far and wide. She has had people with Parkinson’s, amputees, athletes, and people struggling with severe weight issues. She has taught “Park City Boot Camp” for 5 years. She is a native of Utah, went to the University of Utah and has lived in Park City for 25 years. She enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, anything that Utah has to offer. She has found a perfect fit working for Premier Fitness Camp and calls it her “Dream Job”. She is a trainer, group instructor, and a member of the coaching team.