As our population continues to age, there is more focus on the importance of older people remaining active and healthy. In 2012, 15% of Australians were aged 65 and over. This figure is projected to increase rapidly over the next decade. By 2016, it’s expected that 22% of the population will be over 65.*
This means there is a growing demographic for fitness professionals to engage with. Many older people believe that exercise is no longer appropriate, however studies have shown that it’s never too late to get fit. The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age. There are many benefits for older people, including increased bone density, improved muscle mass and increased joint mobility. As with all age groups, regular exercise also has mental health benefits for older people, as it improves mood, self confidence and can help prevent memory loss.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Australians** state that people aged over 65 should aim for 30 minutes of moderate – vigorous activity most days of the week. The guidelines suggest that people should aim to be active in as many ways as possible, incorporating activities that include strength, flexibility and balance.
The possibilities are many and varied when it comes to working with older people. Expanding your client base to include this emerging demographic will help them maintain or improve their quality of life. And from business perspective, will provide you with opportunities to work more in the off-peak hours.
Our website has a range of courses that will enable you to specialise in training older people. Why not consider one when you’re next researching professional development opportunities?