Do you visit the local gym or fitness club for hydrotherapy, a swim or aquaerobics? Do you look at the gym equipment and think “that’s just not for me”? Well it’s time to think again. You will know of the importance of the right type of exercise to help you stay stronger for longer and a gym program may actually be your perfect partner.
Early in the morning and after work hours you are going to find your fair share of fit, committed people lifting weights and doing leg curls. Often the TV or music is on, loud, and the pace just feels frantic. But have you visited during the day or at a special seniors time? Yes, that’s right, many gyms now offer off-peak rates to active agers and special supported classes where the gym may even be cleared, just for you. You’ll be guided on how to use the equipment, undergo a fitness assessment and have a tailored program and personal supervision to get going. You may even be able to attend a timeslot and complete your circuit with other active agers, chatting and laughing as you go.
It’s fun to workout at the… Y.M.C.A.
No we’re not talking about the popular song, but you can certainly bop along to your chosen beat at the YMCA gyms around New Zealand. They believe that you’re never too old for fun and fitness and offer tailored programs and discounts to seniors. In addition, select locations offer the never2old exercise programme developed by Auckland University of Technology. It’s dedicated to inspiring and leading more older adult New Zealanders to improved functional fitness, flexibility, balance and well-being and the maintenance of fully engaged, independent lifestyles. The resistance training is designed to increase strength, power, mobility and balance. There are also cardiovascular exercises to improve heart lung function and flexibility exercises to encourage joint mobility.
Check it out
Take your time when deciding on which gym to join in your local area. Is there a current member of the club or gym you can talk to? What does your doctor suggest? Visit at a quiet time, ask for a tour and question the staff on:
- Do staff members have appropriate training and certification that are recognised by the fitness industry?
- What age spread do you have at the centre? Do you have special services for active agers?
- Is a fitness assessment and personalised exercise program or prescription part of my membership?
- Is my program reviewed on a regular basis? Will extra charges apply?
- Do new members receive an orientation and instruction in using the equipment and facilities?
- Do you have a ‘cooling off period’ after purchasing the membership – just in case I change my mind?
Excited to Learn More?
Just click on the links within this article for more in-depth advice and tips or browse our archives. And start your journey to staying stronger for longer today.
Making change takes time and effort, so you need to know that it’s going to be worth it. Fortunately, you don’t have to take our word for it – you can share your own experiences and learn how others have discovered benefits like increased strength, better mobility and sustained energy here on GrownUps.
By Emma Stirling APD