By 2030, an estimated 20 percent of Americans—more than 70 million people—will have passed their 65th birthday, 380,000 of whom will be over the age of 100. As each generation lives longer there is a growing demand for a broad range of fitness and wellness programs that need to meet everything from their social to physical needs. Seniors expect to have access to programs that will reduce the negative health effects of aging, improve quality of life, and increase their healthspan.
At Active Wellness, we’re focused on inspiring safe and engaging programs for seniors that improve their quality of life. Here are our top 5 recommendations for engaging the active aging population.
- Make it social. More than anything, seniors are looking for programs with a social and group component. This is not only with their exercise choices but with most of their activities in the community. Consider social programs that cater to seniors such as a walking group, social mixers, and educational presentations at your gym.
- Provide low-impact group fitness classes. Providing a schedule with a variety of group fitness classes that include low impact is ideal for seniors. Our most popular classes for an older audience include Light Strength, Pilates Mat, Stretch, Balance, Pilates Reformer, Aquatics Exercise, Abs and Hips, Chair Fitness, and more.
- Incorporate virtual support. While seniors are ready to be active, some may be hesitant to step into a gym right now if they have high-risk conditions or health issues, or have yet to be vaccinated. Consider providing some of your low-impact classes, personal training, or other programs that cater to the senior market virtually to support this audience.
- Personal Training. Personal training is certainly a valued service to seniors. They’re looking for expertise and best practices on how to exercise safely. Consider reaching out to your senior population and offering them two hours of free orientations or a specific training program to help introduce them to your personal training team and services.
- Partner with senior centers and living centers. Reach out to your local senior center or senior living community and see if there are any opportunities to offer fitness programs to their community. You may want to present an offering such as a specific health topic or fitness class on their property. This should involve an introduction about your fitness center and the services you have to offer seniors as well as a brief group discussion, followed by a workout or presentation on a relevant topic.
At Active Wellness we’re focused on inspiring safe and engaging programs for seniors that improve their quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can engage with your senior community or how we can help your gym or fitness center target this market.
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Mark Metcalf is a Senior General Manager for Active Wellness. He has over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. His various roles over the years include Fitness Director, Operations Manager, Senior General Manager, and Regional Manager. During the past three years, he has provided Regional and General Manager support at three locations in the Bay Area, including two medical fitness health club locations and a 55+ senior living community fitness center. Mark earned a BS in Exercise Science with a minor in Health from Ithaca College.