When it comes to senior health, two significant trends are occurring simultaneously. First, the number of seniors is climbing upward — the Census Bureau has noted that the amount of people age 65 or older will double within the next few decades. Second, many of those seniors are becoming deeply interested in taking charge of their health, leading to a surge in over-age-50 gym memberships and classes.
That means the demand for senior fitness experts has never been greater — and it’s about to become an even more opportunity-laden specialty.
With a Senior Fitness Specialist Certification, you can certainly do personal training at a gym or other fitness facility and specialize in older clients for one-on-one instruction. But there’s so much more you can do with the certification as well. Here are just a few roles you can take on:
1. Program Director
Senior living communities are increasingly putting wellness programs into place and expanding their fitness options. For many facilities, what used to be a small room with a few treadmills is now an outfitted gym with classes, personal training, and nutrition instruction. With a certification, you can not only lead training, but also tackle a higher-level position as a program director and fitness leader.
2. At-Home Training
As anyone who specializes in senior health knows, not all clients can make it to a gym or fitness center. There may be a recent injury, chronic conditions, or other factors that hinder their mobility. Because of that, fitness professionals who do in-home trainings are especially busy. They assist with functional fitness that can help clients perform everyday tasks safely, and promote better health and wellness overall.
3. Hospital Fitness Coordinator
Similar to senior living, hospitals and health systems are focusing more on adding wellness to their senior care, since fitness and nutrition are powerful preventative health measures. You can lead a program within a hospital, clinic system, or other healthcare setting.
4. Group Class Leader
Many seniors love group classes, because it gives them a chance to connect with others and feel less intimidated by new fitness routines. Putting together classes that challenge them and keep them engaged — while still keeping them safe — can be hugely satisfying, especially as you see more progress in terms of flexibility, strength, and overall better health.
5. Aquatic Trainer
Exercises done in a pool are particularly good for seniors, since that type of fitness is easier on aging joints, muscles, and tendons. With a certification in senior fitness, you’ll learn about aquatic training components and be able to put together classes or one-on-one training sessions that make the most of being in the water.
As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age — and plenty of Gen X hit the big 50 mark — the opportunities in senior fitness will continue to expand. Getting a Senior Fitness Specialist Certification will give you ample options for providing specialized training for this growing group. More than that, it’ll give you the skills and insights you need to design fitness classes and training that help clients lead healthier, happier lives.