Active Aging and Fitness Objectives for Older Adults

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As a Fitness Trainer of a certain age, I’m always perplexed and annoyed by Ageism. What is Ageism? The Dictionary defines Ageism as “prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s age”, and it can be personal or institutional. In my experience it can be quite subtle and possibly well intentioned, as well. Examples abound. My family physician recently addressed me as “young man." I receive a “senior discount” on public transportation. No, these aren’t bad things in and of themselves, but they help perpetuate age bias.

As a result of these misperceptions, exercise programs for our demographic might look like (and I’m exaggerating only a little bit) super-simple chair classes with soft jazz music piped in, and instructors carefully enunciating their words.

• We are aging actively. 
• We value activities that are life enhancing, invigorating and fun.
• Our workouts should be neither brutal nor bland.

Let's focus on building functional strength and endurance to enable pursuing the activities we enjoy – keeping up with our grand kids, traveling, climbing steps or hiking mountains.