In the movies and on televisions gyms are always full of young, fit, attractive members. But like most of what we see from Hollywood, this isn’t the most accurate representation of a gym or health club. They’re frequented by members as diverse as you’d see anywhere else – members of all ages, body types, ethnicities, and professions. And thanks to programs like Silver Sneakers and other insurance programs that pay for memberships, we’re seeing more Baby Boomers and seniors in health clubs than ever before. And that’s why we’re excited to share our best gym tips for seniors.
Tip #1: Take group fitness classes. There are a number of reasons you’ll want to include group fitness classes in your fitness program, and we’ve covered some of those in depth in other posts. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about aqua group fitness classes. With the ability to increase your strength, cardiovascular health, and flexibility in all one workout while reducing pressure on your joints in a low-impact format, you’d be hard pressed to find a form of exercise more perfectly suited to a mature body!
Plus, there’s a great social component in group fitness classes which can help combat stress and loneliness and keep you engaged in your fitness program for the long haul! Need more reasons? See what Elevate Fitness Aqua Instructor Sue had to say about why you should be working out in the water.
Tip #2: Find out what special programs your gym offers seniors. For example, at Elevate Fitness, we offer coffee clubs where members can meet before or after group classes to socialize and connect. A community is an important part of a successful fitness program as connecting with other members and with staff will increase your exercise adherence by keeping you accountable to other people.
And while we’re all for making new friends, maybe you’d prefer to bring an existing friend with you? Most gyms (including Elevate Fitness) have referral programs. Not only can you usually get a guest pass for a friend to try out the gym with you, but most clubs (at least the good ones) will reward you if your friend joins! At Elevate Fitness you’ll earn 500 rewards points that can be spent in our online Rewards Store!
Tip #3: Make time to be consistent. Today’s seniors are busier than ever. Whether it’s staying involved in the workforce longer, family obligations or recreational pursuits and hobbies, seniors often find their agendas and calendars just as full as when they were younger.
Take time to put together a schedule for yourself (group exercise classes make this a very easy step) and follow the advice we have for people trying to reach their fitness goals with busy schedules.
Tip #4: Set a goal. Have something to train FOR and you’ll find it easier to get into the gym to train. We suggest training for a 5K as a good starting place. Most towns have an abundance of 5ks to choose from that allow you to support causes near and dear to your heart. And most 5ks are considered run/walks so you don’t even need to become a very advanced runner to participate.
Find a program that will help you reach your goal, like Elevate’s Run to Walk program, designed to take non-runners to point where they can successfully complete a 5k. And once you’ve committed, talk your friends into committing with you!
Tip #5: Find out if you’re eligible to have some or all of your membership paid for. Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit are just two examples of programs that pay for a portion or all of your gym membership for you! And if the gym you’ve joined doesn’t have a program – reach out to your insurance company and be the catalyst! Someone has to be the first, right?
Not a member of a gym yet and want to try out Elevate Fitness? Try us out for FREE!