Active Aging Seniors & How to Reach Them in Your Facility
You may realize that more and more seniors coming into your facility, and for a majority of them this is their first time stepping foot in a gym-like atmosphere. For others it may be their first time in many years. Needless to say, it can be daunting to the individual.
How to engage with active seniors in your fitness facility
According to the 2013 IHRSA Profile of Success and IHRSA Health Club Report, core members represent about half (47%) of the membership base. Core members use the club 100+ times per year and have an average tenure of 4.5 years as a paying member. Interesting that 54% of older members (55+) are considered core. Active Agers and baby boomers are a very important demographic in your membership base. What are you doing to attract and retain these older members?
How to reach active aging seniors
Where fast paced exercise classes, the latest trends in training and music may attract the younger crowds, it is important to focus on areas that are important to the older population in the club. One of the biggest complaints of older exercisers is pain caused by exercise. Therapeutic services such as saunas, steam rooms or massage (chair or table) would be a welcome amenity to this group.
A fitness center can be an intimidating place for people unfamiliar with machines or new to exercise so a focus on outstanding customer service and training tools to make older members feel at ease and comfortable in the club.
Classes that cater to older adults
It is important to have classes designed with an activity level appropriate for active aging seniors:
- use chairs to help with stability
- a pool provides a comfortable way to support movement
- lighter weights allow to help active aging adults effectively train
- bands and balls
Many times, older members are looking for a place to socialize as well as getting healthy. Your facility can be the place for them to get together and be active. Having programs that cater to the older adults will help increase members and the overall well-being of those utilizing the programs.
How to create a friendly environment for the active aging community
There are many options depending on your location and size of facility – one popular program is called SilverSneakers®. They have different class levels, yoga, and water aerobics just to name a few. All of the classes cater to the exercises that would be beneficial for older adults. This is just one option out there for active aging programs. All you need to do is conduct a little research to find out what would work best for your facility.
Certifications for active aging fitness
There are certifications to provide the additional knowledge for this growing group of active aging adults. The programs are designed to help educate those on safe, effective, and enjoyable fitness programs for this growing member base. The ICAA (International Council on Active Aging) connects those professionals and organizations that share in the desire to improve the quality of life for older adults. This is a great way to see what others are doing in the field and to continue education on the latest news to cater to the active aging.
Safe equipment for active aging seniors
An extremely important factor in providing an exceptional customer experience for older adults is having equipment in your facility that is safe, comfortable and effective for their bodies. With the Arc Trainer, the biomechanics and research behind this machine proves that the Arc Trainer is easier on the joints allows for the older adults to feel more comfortable while burning more calories.
Value of a comfortable location
The active aging community has the desire to remain healthy and fit. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to come back, keep coming, and tell everyone they know.
Don't treat all active seniors the same: what is comfortable for some will not be others, the same as any demographic group. Listen to their needs, and work with them to make a place that they will enjoy and be healthy.
Training for your facility
Our Cybex Product Specialists and trainers visit facilities around the world to help them better engage with the growing active aging community. Don't be left behind - schedule an education seminar today.
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