An Aging Population
As medicine advances in the United States and around the world, the percentage of individuals ages 65+ is dramatically increasing. As of 2016, persons ages 65 years and older made up about 13% of the population in the United States. This percentage is expected to rise to 19% (72.1 million) by 2030, and persons ages 85+ is estimated to rise to 14.6 million by 2040.¹ Because of this increase in the geriatric population, it is crucial for fitness professionals to understand the importance of senior fitness and how to properly teach senior fitness classes.
Effects of Physical Fitness on the Aging Body
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), able-bodied seniors should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise per week or 70 minute of intense-level exercise per week.² There is evidence that physical activity not only improves overall health of the geriatric population, but specific benefits such as less fall risk, improved mental health, and management of chronic diseases also exists. Although there are known benefits to the senior population engaging in physical activity, only 27% are meeting the guidelines for duration of aerobic activity.¹ As fitness professionals, we have the opportunity to assist the senior population with increasing their physical fitness and aerobic activity. Let’s take on that challenge and meet the growing demand for senior fitness classes!
NETA’s Senior Fitness Specialty Certification
NETA’s new Senior Fitness Specialty Certification is designed for fitness professionals wanting tools to safely and effectively train and teach the older adult population. In this foundational course, you’ll master exercise selection principles for chronic conditions, practice fall prevention techniques, learn functional fitness assessment protocols, and discuss ways to best communicate with senior class participants. This course will improve your professional adaptability and help unlock your career potential. There is also an online option if there isn’t a workshop near you. Learn more here!
Upon completion of the workshop and the online examination, you will earn the NETA Specialty Certificate as a Senior Fitness instructor.
¹ Dipietro, L., et al. Physical Activity, Injurious Falls, and Physical Function in Aging: An Umbrella Review, Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, 2019