As an older adult, you might think it’s in your best interests to take things easy. However, the National Institute of Aging suggests that “taking it easy” can do more harm than good. Physical inactivity weakens your bones and muscles, which can not only make you less capable of performing everyday tasks on your own, it can also make you more vulnerable to injuries and illnesses. For example, poor balance and a lack of strength can increase your risk of falling. Regular exercise, on the other hand, can help you maintain your independence as it strengthens your body, boosts your energy, and improves your mood.
If you want to improve your exercise habits but you’re finding it difficult to get started, consider hiring a personal trainer. They can create you exercise programs for your specific fitness needs. One-on-one coaching sessions also ensure you’re not putting your body at further risk by doing the wrong things at the gym. However there are a few questions you need to ask first before you get started.
Does the trainer have the relevant education and certifications?
Although any personal trainer with the appropriate certifications can learn to adjust to your needs, you can make the most of your program if your trainer has worked with senior citizens before. SportsRec explains that trainers can actually get certified to work with older adults by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. So, it’s always best to hire a personal trainer who has experience working with people your age so that you can learn as much from them as possible to improve your overall wellbeing.
You can also look for trainers who are educated in subjects related to fitness, such as exercise physiology, sports medicine, and kinesiology. These courses give trainers a strong understanding of how the human body works, which allows them to design exercise programs that are backed by scientific concepts. Alternatively, look for trainers who specialize in your sport or interests, such as yoga, strength training, or aerobics.
Is the trainer covered by my insurance plan?
Many health insurance programs actually include fitness in their coverage, so see if you can reduce the costs by reviewing your policy. In fact, Kelsey Care Advantage details how fitness classes are one of the main perks that come with Medicare Part C that aren’t present in other plans. Depending on their provider, older adults with Medicare Part C can make use of the live classes and workshops found in the fitness programs in their plan. And often, these programs are led by expert trainers who work with seniors on a regular basis as part of their partnership with the Medicare program.
Can the trainer cater to my specific health conditions?
If you have specific health conditions, try to see whether your trainer has worked with people with similar conditions in the past. This will ensure that your trainer knows how to design programs that take into account your needs and goals. For instance, in our list of the ‘6 Top Exercises for People with Diabetes’, we note that individuals suffering with diabetes should exercise to ensure that they are able to regulate their sugar levels and improve their heart health. A good personal trainer can design a program that includes cardio sessions, like swimming, walking, and cycling relative to your needs. Trainers can also create programs according to your limitations. If you have arthritis, a trainer familiar with the condition can create exercise programs that are full of low impact exercises so they are easy on your joints.
When age seems to place a limit on what your body can do, exercise might seem hard. A personal trainer can help you navigate the complexities of physical activity, and help you strengthen your aging body and promote independence in the process. Check out our posts here at Everglades Plan for more tips on improving your nutrition and fitness.