Personal Training for Over 50’s
There are now over 23.2 million people aged 50 years or over in the UK, over a third of the total population. Therefore it is likely at some stage of your personal training career that you will train someone in this age bracket. It is important to alter your personal training style to suit their needs if necessary to allow them to gain maximum benefit from one of your personal training sessions.
You should always get new clients to fill in a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) to ensure you are aware of any medical conditions or injuries. This is a great opportunity for over 50’s clients to get to know what they have done in the past, what they enjoy and what they want to work on. If they have had an injury or medical condition then you can ask more about it and adjust any training accordingly. Read our PAR-Q blog to find out more.
Warm-ups become even more important for over 50’s to ensure their muscles and joints are ready and prepared for exercise. This can just be a low level aerobic activity such as a brisk walk on a treadmill or slow pedalling on an exercise bike.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate (40-60% heart rate reserve) to vigorous (60-90% HRR) intensity aerobic exercise for most adults and light (30-40% HRR) to moderate for those are less fit. The best cardio for over 50’s is that which does not impose excessive orthopaedic stress such as walking. Other less weight-bearing activities include exercise done in water and cycling on a stationary bike. One of the biggest mistakes over 50’s make in the gym is exercising with shoulders hunched over. It is important to keep proper posture so make sure you remind your clients to keep their shoulders back and down and their chin and chest forward.
A common misconception is that weight training is only for bodybuilders and those who want to develop big muscles. In reality weight training is important to strengthen bones and is proven to delay and even cure osteoporosis problems. In your mid to late 30’s muscle mass starts to decrease and we continue to lose 1-2% of muscle mass every year. The only way to stop this is to use resistance training or lift weights.
Especially for older inactive adults, stretching at the end of a session is imperative. Tight muscles will reduce the body’s ability to perform everyday tasks by affecting range of motion, balance and fluidity in the joints. Slow easy stretches are best and make sure you stretch all muscles that have been used during the session.
Often the biggest challenge with over 50’s is getting them motivated to do exercise. Therefore, the most important thing is to make it as fun and engaging as possible so that they keep on coming back time and time again and get fitter and healthier than when they started!
Whether you are training the Over 50s or clients in another age bracket, insurance is important. Get a quick quote for our Personal Trainer Insurance today for instant cover.