Physical Fitness in the Golden Age is a community based exercise program for older adults 60 years of age and older, which utilizes a comprehensive fitness program that aims to improve overall health and functional ability, and maintain independent living and mobility.
The program simultaneously improves fitness and fosters healthy living habits for program participants with training sessions that focus on the improvement of muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, mobility, coordination, speed, agility, flexibility, and balance. The program provides a comfortable environment for individuals of the same age working together for a common goal: to achieve successful aging and improving quality of life.
Exercise sessions are offered through a flexible schedule and are available on all weekdays at various hours of the day. Beginners in the program are advised to attend two sessions weekly, while trained participants generally attend three to four sessions weekly. Sessions are 90 minute in length.
The Physical Fitness in the Golden Age program utilizes a great variety of exercises, including exercises normally not associated with older adult fitness programs. Based on the program administrators’ extensive experiences in older adult fitness and awareness of the most recent research-based recommendations for older adult fitness program design, program participants can perform truly effective and functional exercises, which may also be modified to meet individual needs or consider personal limitations. Our employed exercises are challenging but fun, and no two training sessions are alike as variety is one of our core principles.
Program Design, Individual Variations
The exercise program design in the Physical Fitness in the Golden Age program is based on the scientific principles of linear periodization. In laymen terms, beginners are exposed to easier to execute exercises and are training at a lighter intensity. Beginners’ proper adaptation to training is ensured by applying the Progressive Overload Principles, as participants transition toward more difficulty, more complex and more challenging exercises, while increasing exercise intensity and attend more sessions weekly. The program applies a group-training design, but exercise modifications take place on an individual as-needed basis.
All exercises employed in the program are coupled with a few second video-clip that demonstrates the correct set-up and execution of the given movement. These videos are displayed on the wall-mounted TVs in our facility, demonstrating the exercises to be performed in the given training session. This strategy not only ensures correct movement execution and exercise safety, but provides our participants a better understanding of exercise principles, correct form and postural awareness.
Program Supervisors and Student Trainers
Exercise sessions are supervised by trained and experienced Kinesiology graduates, typically holding a Bachelor’s degree and a relevant certification from a leading professional organization. Individualized attention to program participants is achieved via the employment of Kinesiology undergraduate students participating in their mandatory course based field-work. Students follow the general program designed by the program director and program supervisors, but make modification to selected exercises or training intensity, based on the individual needs of the program participants. Newly enrolled program participants are matched with undergraduate student trainers, ideally in a one-to-two ratio. Once program participants completed a full semester of regular program attendance, they may elect continuing their program participation with or without the direct supervision of a student trainer.