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Personal training for seniors: What you should know

Written by True Topia

October 26, 2021

Healthy lifestyle. What did you think about when you read that term? Regular workouts, clean eating habits, proper mental health, and a healthy environment as you grow. But can you dream about a healthy lifestyle even as a senior? Can you lead a healthy aging life? Yes, we are going to walk through each of these topics. Along with that, we will help you create an ultimate solution guide to help you to attain your healthy lifestyle. 

Before talking about anything else, what do you even understand about healthy aging? To state in simple terms, healthy aging refers to the natural occurrences and changes as per the age throughout your life. To explain the ideal way of healthy aging, we will read it through 3 parts:

  • Physical changes: In the process of healthy aging, a person can witness the physical changes at a steady rate as compared to the current day scenario where youngsters are witnessing a tremendous change in their appearance, stamina, and other factors. This abnormal rapid change is unhealthy aging. It can be tackled by following regular workout sessions and leading a well-rounded lifestyle. 
  • Diet routines: The absorption and digestion capacity of our body changes with time. Adjusting your routine accordingly instead of consuming unhealthy food can help you lead to healthy aging. Consuming clean food regularly is the key. Keep a proper note of what works in favor of your body and what your body doesn’t appreciate. Include these changes into your diet, and your body will lead an age-long healthy life. 
  • Training your body: With age, your muscles gain the ability to be more structured and defined. Instead of giving up on your workouts, adapting your physical training as per your age will help you work towards healthy aging. 

All these contribute to enhancing your overall lifestyle, helping you to lead a long life and age gracefully. Even diving deeper into this topic, healthy aging is directly related to helping you to enhance your functional ability. 

With age, people start to lose their mental stamina and physical will to do a certain task. You may be willing to do something, but your body gave up easily, or you may feel mentally tired as well. All these are a result of decreased functional ability. 

In simple terms, the functional ability is the overall balance between your physical, psychological, emotional, cognitive, and other spheres that helps you to function and perform at your optimum level for a longer period. Without proper care of your body and unhealthy aging, it can become one of the major factors of decreased functional ability. 

Now the question boils down to how can you exactly overcome all these issues and lead a healthy lifestyle age-long even as a senior? The answer lies in proper physical training and diet. 

It may sound very obvious but there is no different key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Even as a senior. It is always the best time whenever you decide to take care of your health and enhance your overall ability and lifestyle. Maintaining a clean diet and regular workout training sessions can help you attain a healthy aging lifestyle and tackle a lot of life-threatening diseases. 

The 2 rules of thumb while starting out

So, now you have decided to take the step and finally lead a healthy lifestyle again. Here are 2 rules of thumb that you need to keep in mind while you start as a senior:

  • Start slow: We all admire that adrenaline rush that we feel when we are starting something new and exciting. But this may lead to severe damage especially if you have joined after long or are starting off new. Take the training sessions at your own pace and then increase it. It is best to start with mild natural cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, and cycling before you hit the gym. It will help your body get acquainted with the physical work after the long gap. 
  • Realistic goals: Another big mistake that we can spot while starting out is setting extremely high or unaligned unrealistic goals. Physical goals vary for various age groups. What your body may require as a goal can be different for a 20year old. Hence it is important to understand what do you need to work on the most right now and set realistic goals without any foreign influence. A personal trainer can help you exactly set that. You can read more about this in the following sections. 

Does one size fit all?

You might already be saying the answer- it’s a big no. People often fail to realize this when they are starting out with their training journey. Hitting the gym and following a general workout routine cannot become the ultimate solution to your healthy aging lifestyle. If you are aware of your body’s specific needs and requirements, you can easily tackle this problem by yourself. 

However, for most seniors, it is difficult to understand what kind of workout will help them to attain their goals, cater to specific problems, and take their injuries/ diseases into consideration. To attain such a target-oriented result, a personal trainer is the best choice. 

A personal trainer is a specialized trainer who holds expertise over your workout sessions and lifestyle diet. This person can specially look after you while you work out and take care of all your requirements, ensuring that you see your results without causing any harm to your body. 

Before you jump to any conclusion, let’s look into this one question- Do you really need a personal trainer? Should you invest in a personal trainer? 

We both know this is an added investment you are making. So, how to ensure that this investment is worth your money? Below you can go through the benefits of hiring a personal trainer for seniors. Further, you can look into the qualities that you should look for in a personal trainer. 

Benefits of personal training for seniors

Training and working out becomes an essential part to lead an age-long healthy lifestyle. But what should you exactly opt for that can cater to all your needs and lifestyle? This question can easily get answered with the help of a personal trainer. Here are a few benefits that seniors can get while training with personal trainers: 

  • Safe ambiance: Heading to the gym on your own, especially when you are starting out as a senior can be dangerous. Various weights and exercises may not be appropriate for your lifestyle and body capacity, especially when you are starting out. In such cases, a trained personal trainer can help you out to plan your workout routines and intensity effectively, avoiding any sort of injuries. 
  • Body requirements: Exercises performed by a 20year old can necessarily be to increase stamina, muscle weight, and other body requirements. It can vary with the body requirements for a 70yesar old, especially as a beginner. In the initial phrase, seniors may want to focus more on increasing the flexibility and coordination and then towards other goals. A personal trainer can help to target and attain goals that are focused on the senior’s body requirements.  
  • Targeted workouts: In case you are working your way out through certain diseases such as diabetes or joint pains, etc, a personal trainer can help you to create a workout routine and diet plan accordingly. It will help you to focus on targeted workouts. It can further help you towards your healing journey effectively. Without a personal trainer, you have a higher probability of practicing certain general workouts that may cause severe harm to your body in such cases.
  • Personalized guidance:  This is not just for seniors but for any age group. While you are starting out or even in general, you may seek personalized attention to take that extra care and step towards your fitness goals. A personal trainer can help you guide through your journey and keep a track of your progress and mistakes. They further help you to enhance your workout sessions accordingly. 
  • Goal-oriented workout sessions: As a senior, you may have certain goals to lead a healthier lifestyle. It may include enhancing your mobility, stamina, and your overall body fitness. The job of your personal trainer will be to understand the goals that you have to lead an age-long healthy lifestyle. After understanding the goals, they will cater to your workout routine accordingly. 
  • Increase independence: Every one of us do not age gracefully. As a senior, oftentimes you may end up losing control over your mobility and other daily activities. Having a personal trainer who can guide you through your physical training can really help you out of this problem. They will understand your problems and cater to your exercises accordingly. They will also add or reduce the intensity that will help you to improve and enhance your body, leading to increased independence over tasks. 
  • Enhanced confidence: Working out in the gym all by yourself may feel intimidating especially if you are starting out after a very long time or are new. Working with a personal trainer can help you overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed and self-conscious all the time. In addition to that, your personal trainer will become a constant source of motivation and encouragement that will help you feel more confident and work towards your goals more efficiently. 

All these benefits help to draw the expectations and role of a personal trainer with seniors. Here are a few key points to look for while you hire one for yourself:

  • They are specially trained and hold experience in training seniors. 
  • They have proper knowledge about disease-oriented and target-specific workouts. 
  • They pay keen attention to your requirements
  • They take an ample amount of time to understand you and your lifestyle. 
  • They can conveniently cater to your workout routine and diet around your lifestyle. 
  • They support, motivate, and help you enhance and expand your boundaries, balancing out your training process. 

Ensuring all these will help you make the correct choice for your personal trainer and help you attain the maximum benefits out of your personal training journey, helping you lead a healthy lifestyle. Along with all these, it is crucial to also understand what kind of personal trainer you are working with. The goals and style of working become vital to ensure that you both are a perfect match. 

How to hire a personal trainer for seniors?

So you have finally decided that you are going to lead a healthy lifestyle and work with a personal trainer. But how to actually go about finding the perfect match who can guide you through your fitness journey? Below we have a few pointers that will help you to find your trainer and lead an age-long healthy life. 

  • What is the preference?  It comes as the first question after you decide to hire a personal trainer. Are you willing to have your training sessions at the gym offline, or do you want to get started online first? The level of motivation and procrastination also becomes a determining factor in this case. If you are starting out new and lack inspiration, hitting the gym can be a good option. You can find other seniors working on similar lifestyle goals as yours. Whereas if you feel conscious and anxious, you can start off from the comfort of your home. 
  • The budget range: Creating such lifestyle changes after several years can seem overwhelming. In such cases, you may want to hire a personal trainer who can match timings with your daily routine as well as understand your lifestyle requirements. After confirming all these aspects, it is important to understand the set budget. It will help you filter out the trainers who don’t match your requirements and short-list your ideal trainers. 
  • Are they qualified? As a senior, you are going to invest your complete faith and trust for your body and overall training upon a personal trainer. Hence, it is important to double-check whether the trainer is even qualified to work with seniors or not. Often trainers who do not have the knowledge and experience can end up suggesting workouts that may cause severe damage to your body. Ensure that your personal trainer holds proper certification and has experience in working with seniors.
  • What is their process of training? This point plays a key role in determining whether or not you want to get into their particular training program. As a senior, it is important to understand what you enjoy doing the most. If you are not a huge fan of jumping and fast-paced workouts, then intensive training isn’t for you. Similarly, you need to understand the training routine, how a session would look like to make the decision, and confirm with your personal trainer. 
  • Look for references: This can make your process of finding a good personal trainer a lot easier. If any of your past neighbors, friends, or colleagues have been to personal training sessions before, ask for their references. Alongside this, you can also check the reviews and testimonials that your shortlisted personal trainers have. 

It will help you to get a brief idea about their way of working. Further, you can also decide how much is capable of helping you to bring results to the table. Keep a good note about every specification, how their routines are, how long they take, and every other detail while you go through these reviews. 

  • Trial period: A lot of gyms do provide a free trial period or discounts upon it for a certain number of days. Do utilize these offers to understand whether you and your personal trainer gel well or not. Trial period offers can be of tremendous help while you are starting out. It helps to understand if your trainer understands your pace, requirements and caters to your needs as a senior. 
  • Listen to your body: After you have finalized your trainer, it is quite tempting to rely completely upon this person for your body. But a lot of times, even the trainer may not understand what is exerting your body. After giving your body a break or, while starting out, your body may take some time to adapt. Ensure that you listen and observe the signs keenly and maintain healthy communication with your trainer. If they fail to maintain and understand what you want to highlight, take the necessary actions immediately. 

Role of a professional trainer 

How many times did you end up buying something just because it belonged to a certain brand? There is no count to this story. A common factor playing in this is that we want to buy the experience that sellers provide us as brands.

Even professional trainers have a similar story. Sometimes your charges may be a bit higher compared to the market. But what makes people seal the deal is the experience that you provide. Especially when you are working with seniors, this factor becomes important now, more than ever. 

Seniors really look up to people who can create that subtle balance between inspiring and motivating them and giving them that little push every once in a while. Sometimes they may feel overwhelmed and question themselves. All these make the task much more than just physical training.

One of the crucial aspects of being a professional trainer for seniors is to be approachable. It may get extremely difficult to communicate once in a while. In such cases, if you hold a personality that seems friendly, approachable, and interactive, people will feel more comfortable around you. 

Below we will look into a few of the deeper aspects and roles that a professional trainer should keep in mind. 

  • Guidance in every step: Whenever you introduce something new into the routine or create any elevation, it is important to guide your client through the process in every step. As a senior, he/she might get overwhelmed and may want to easily give up thinking that the workouts are complicated. In such cases, your role is to take them through the process step-by-step and guide them with patience. Once they master every posture, help them with the transitions.
  • Ample amount of motivation: This goes without saying, keep them motivated all the time. Statistically, on average, every 1 out of 3 seniors decide not to continue with their physical activity. In such scenarios, motivating your clients can really help them to proceed with their training, ensuring that they can lead towards healthy aging. Keep the workouts interactive, praise them every once in a while and ensure that they really enjoy their sessions. All these will help them to stay on track and work towards their goals. 
  • Understanding the body: Every client that you work with will require individual attention especially as a senior. It is crucial to understand their body, its mechanism, any injuries, diseases. Only after that create the workout plan accordingly. Take a proper note of the most common diseases that they might be encountering. Ensure that you have proper consent from the physician that your client is fit for training. Even after that, keep a proper track record of how your client is responding to all your training sessions.
  • Set an example: Your clients look up to you. Hence, as a professional trainer, you play a very crucial role as a leader in their life. Ensure that you yourself take up challenges and share your journey openly. Talk about your struggles and how you get past them. All these will help to ensure that your clients stay inspired and consider you as their example and motivation.    

Getting started with your physical training journey after a certain age may seem intimidating. Sometimes it may also feel like almost a next to impossible task. In such situations, it is always important to understand the why for your journey. 

The lifestyle that you want to lead, the way you want to attain healthy aging, be independent, confident, and rely on yourself. All these can become a part of your life with the help of regular workouts and a proper diet. With the help of a good personal trainer, you can really make a huge impact in your life and lead a disease-free healthy life as a senior. 

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