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It is January and that means that there are lots of new faces in the health clubs where I work. Many of these faces are of those in the baby boomer generation, looking to get on a healthy routine in an effort to take control of their health and well being. For some, it is recapturing a part of their active youth and rekindling a dormant passion for their favorite sport or activity. For others, it is recognizing that they need to be active but also be a bit gentler on their bodies than they were in the past. Then there are those who are completely deconditioned and were never active. Many of the so called boomers are also plagued by injuries and conditions that require special attention and modifications.
For me, working primarily in the Pilates world, it is a wonderful way for me to work with someone in a post rehabilitative state and then progress them to a higher fitness level. It is also a perfect opportunity for me to introduce them to Pilates as a necessary exercise component that will not only enhance their already existing leisure and exercise activities, but also their everyday life skills.
If you’re a novice and just starting out, walking is a nice way to ease into a routine with little impact on the body. Cardiovascular workouts are key in burning fat and keeping the heart strong. Studies show that nearly 5 million people a year are diagnosed with coronary heart disease. In fact, it is the number one killer among women. This is of concern for many in the boomer population. Maintaining a healthy weight and cardiovascular conditioning are primary factors in the prevention of heart disease.
One of the best ways to increase balance, coordination, small motor flexibility and posture improvement is by working out in the water. Water workouts also take added pressure off the bones and joints, allowing you to perform your workouts optimally. Water workouts also have significant results for boomers recovering from accidents, surgeries and injuries.
Strength training is a significant component of fitness, especially in women, and for increased bone density. Many older adults fall, and unfortunately, some of them die as a result.