How to Activate Your Senior Community

Posted by Mark Metcalf on Mar 2, 2022 1:00:00 PM

With the pandemic still present, the importance of health, wellness, and activating seniors is more important than ever before. So, how can you engage your senior living community to live healthier? 

At Active Wellness we’re focused on inspiring safe and engaging programs for seniors that improve their quality of life. Two of our models, Active Wellness Center which is an all-encompassing 20k-50k sq. ft. wellness center and Activate which can be scaled easily based on resident population and projected growth from 5k- 19k sq. ft. providing a wide range of program & service options that can typically found in large wellness centers. These are both great additions to set your senior living community apart from the competition, drive new center revenue, and improve the overall health and well-being of your community. Below are a few other ways to activate your aging community:

Deliver fitness and wellness classes to meet senior needs. Seniors are expecting to have access to programs that will reduce the negative health effects of aging, improve quality of life, and increase their healthspan. Their top choice for joining a fitness center is a low-impact group fitness class. Top classes for this audience include Light Strength, Pilates Mat, Stretch, Balance, Pilates Reformer, and Aquatics Exercise.


Offer senior-friendly fitness equipment. At a Boomer-focused fitness center, iron weights and ellipticals don't make the list of suitable workout equipment. Equipment that offers air-powered resistance training and cardio machines that are low impact are the most popular and successful options. Having an indoor or outdoor track also encourages cardio exercise. Seniors are less likely to injure themselves when using these alternatives. If you have questions about the right equipment for your seniors, contact our Fitness Center Design team here.4-Feb-24-2022-09-04-20-74-PM

Hire the right team. Another important factor for seniors is hiring a knowledgeable staff that specializes in fitness for older adults. Your team should be able and willing to take the time necessary to familiarize each person with the equipment and make the member and resident feel as comfortable as possible. They must also be ready to recognize any physical limitations and contraindicators that could potentially harm the members and have a thorough knowledge of the member's medical history, including any medications or past surgeries that could hinder their physical activity and cause injury. A fitness center management team like Active Wellness is a great option when looking to hire a qualified team catering to seniors.1-Feb-24-2022-09-05-24-42-PM

Provide virtual programming. While seniors are ready to be active, some may be hesitant to step into a fitness center right now if they have high-risk conditions or health issues. Consider providing some of your low-impact classes, personal training, or other programs that cater to the senior market virtually to support this audience. Virtual programming is also great for members to access classes while traveling or outside the fitness center at any time. 


Create calm + quiet settings. One of the most important things to include in a fitness center designed with seniors in mind is a calm and quiet atmosphere. By making sure that social areas and fitness areas are separated, this relaxing atmosphere can be acquired. Having a social area is just as important as a fitness area. Many seniors want a place, similar to an appealing cafe setting, where they can chat with friends and feel comfortable doing so. It needs to be an area free from swimsuit-clad members dripping with water.



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, how we can help your gym or fitness center target this market or to learn more about our Active Wellness Center or Activate models.


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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.