What Baby Boomers Should Know
About Fitness Centers

I don’t know about you, but for me, fitness centers are not a destination to which I am particularly attracted at this point in my life.  Yes, a few decades ago I was a fairly regularly attendee in my efforts to take good care of my body and maintain or even built muscle strength.  But, I’ve gotten over that.

Taking care of my body is still important to me but I am no longer committed to the hassle of taking regular trips to a gym.

Visiting a fitness center can be intimidating. You find yourself surrounded by people years younger than you and wonder about which exercise equipment you can use safely.

However, as the baby boom population ages, more facilities are catering to an older crowd. If you're ready to sign up for a gym membership, try these tips for managing the physical and social challenges.

Managing the Physical Challenges

1. Consult your doctor. Speak with your physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you're overweight or have been sedentary for some time. 

Your doctor can advise you about any medical conditions you need to keep in mind, such as high blood pressure. If you need more guidance, ask for recommendations for an exercise physiologist or nutritionist.

2. Check out weight machines. Even frail seniors may be able to strength train with air-powered machines where you just hit a button if the load feels too heavy.

Resistance bands are another option. On the other hand, if your balance is strong, you may be able to continue using free weights.

3. Focus on low-impact aerobics. Protect your joints and adjust for a decreased maximum heart rate. Try swimming and dance classes that keep your feet on the floor

If you're concerned about falling off the treadmill, look for recumbent machines that offer more stability.

If your are north of 7 decades and still a regular attendee at a fitness center, I salute you.  I would even go as far to say that I envy you and salute, except for the fact that I lack the initiative to to follow your noble example and imitate your performance.  To put it more succinctly, I’m just plain lazy.

So, kudos to you!  Congratulations and keep it up!

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