Monday, June 2, 2008

Age Appropriate

“There are times when Bob Fitzgerald, a personal trainer who works in and around California's San Fernando Valley, is 25 years younger than his client. In those circumstances, he has to take extra care — after all, he doesn't want to work the 100-year-olds too hard. Even though he has 10 years of experience working with older adults, Fitzgerald remains among a relatively new breed in the world of exercise and wellness: The 75-year-old personal trainer. A newcomer to the field at age 65 after a long career in the paper business, Fitzgerald is the natural embodiment of what is almost certain to become a trend as the baby boomers flex their collective muscles. Data from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association indicates that members 55 and older make up the fastest-growing segment of the health club population. Younger personal trainers are taught that these older members are more limited in their physical abilities, and yet everyone of a certain age connected with the industry seems to know a peer who has been injured by an overzealous young trainer…a Tufts University study was the first to suggest that older adults should be trained at the same intensity as younger exercisers — but the techniques used.”

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