This is the title of an article that appeared yesterday (April 8, 2019) in the Wall Street Journal. The article by Hilary Potkewitz notes that seniors are going to the gym in record numbers; at the same time the demand for trainers in their 50s and 60s is going up. The article contains some statistics as well as a lot of anecdotes about this trend.
I know that many of my clients are on the “senior side” of things, and part of what attracted them to meas a Personal Trainer is that I am 50+. I understand what an aging body feels like. I know that the vast majority of seniors are not as interested in what their bodies will look like at the beach or pool this summer as they are about their ability to carry out the activities of daily living (not that a killer bod wouldn’t be appreciated!).
On a pretty regular basis clients tell me about past injuries, aches, deficits in strength, etc., and in many cases I can relate because I have been there. Hernia surgery, check! Achilles tendinitis, check! Plantar fasciitis, check! Not only can I relate, but my recovery experiences help me to understand what exercises are effective and which aren’t.
This is not to say that a younger trainer might not be a good listener and even know how to do corrective exercises; there are many out there who are better than I at that. What it does say is that there is a kind of kinship of fellow travelers as we age and we think about our fitness, our jobs, our families, and our goals.
Of course, this is all good news for me and for the fitness industry. Fitness is not just the domain of the “hotshot trainer with the six-pack;” those of us with a little wear and tear have just as much to give…often with a dose of well-earned wisdom!