Term Paper: Senior Fitness

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[. . .] 21) Discuss flexibility programming and how it relates to your older client. What are the physiological factors that a trainer must be aware of? Discuss the importance of maintaining flexibility as we age.

Flexibility is an extremely important aspect of healthy aging. Greater levels of flexibility directly correlate into greater ease in performing one's daily responsibilities around the house and in public. Ideally, stretches should be performed after a brief warm-up at the beginning of a workout and also after a brief cool down at the end of a workout. These periodic stretch periods will help to both prepare the muscles for the upcoming workout and help to healthily heal the muscles after the workout is complete. Each facet is extremely important in achieving the greatest possible results out of a workout. When taking the time to engage in exercise, it is absolutely vital to incorporate stretching in order to protect the muscles and keep the fully functional so that we can grow well, not old.

22) Define the term assessment as it is used in the fitness field. Include examples of the assessments you would use to help design a program for an older client. Explain why you would choose those assessments and of what value are the results.

An assessment is a tool that helps a trainer to initially gauge his or her client's physical fitness level prior to exercise. Assessments also provide a benchmark from which to evaluate the client's future progress. Each assessment should always include several elements of fitness like muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.

In constructing a fitness program for an older client I would certainly use a number of assessments. One such assessment would be the 12-minute Cycling Test. This assessment is lower-impact (as compared to running) and is very effective at determining a client's current level of cardiovascular endurance. Another area I would certainly want to assess would be muscular strength. In doing so I would likely incorporate an upper and lower body test into my ultimate assessment. The upper body test might consist of a controlled bench press, while the lower body test might consist of a controlled seated leg press. I would also assess the client's flexibility by asking him or her to stretch and marking their achieved range of motion.

23) Use the Karvonen formula to calculate the target heart rate for a 70-year-old client who has a resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute. Discuss why it is important to be able to accurately predict training and max heart rates for your clients.

Using the Karvonen formula, this individual's target heart rate should be between 130 and 140, with a maximum of 150.

By being able to accurately predict and determine the ideal training and max heart rates for clients, a trainer can then determine the level at which that client is able to perform. With this information, trainers can then determine how hard they will push their clients, what exercises they can and cannot handle, and when they are in fact making improvements. Conversely, this vital data will also allow trainers to determine when it is time to pull back on exercise routines or permit longer rest periods.

24) Describe how and when you would use the Borg RPE scale. Describe the training situations where using RPE values would be more appropriate than a predicted max heart rate.

The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale allows clients to autonomously rate their level of physical exertion on a numerical scale. By doing so, it gives them the opportunity to assess how much effort they are exerting and how intense the exercise is to them. This information is also very useful to the trainer. In concert with a client's heart rate data, this information can provide a trainer with the knowledge of how to progress with an exercise schedule and what areas a client may be struggling with.

While conventional knowledge dictates that a client's heart rate is the most reliable indicator of physical exertion, there are some cases in which the Borg scale might be preferable. For instance, the Borg scale is often the preferred method to assess intensity in clients who are taking medications that affect the heart rate or pulse.

25) Use the tables provided in Chapter 10 of the senior fitness text to determine the strength rating for both upper and lower body for the following 2 clients?

Bob male, 180 lbs, 55 years of age, leg press 1 rm = 255 lbs bench press 1 rm = 150 lbs.

Bob's Upper Body Strength Rating would be .83 which is classified as "Good"

Bob's Lower Body Strength Rating would be 1.42 which is classified as "Fair"

Sally female 140 lbs 62 years of age, leg press 1 rm = 155 bench 1 rm = 65 lbs how would you explain the results to your clients?

Sally's Upper Body Strength Rating would be .46 which is classified as "Average"

Sally's Lower Body Strength Rating would be?1.11 which is classified as "Good"

26) Describe one internal motivator and one external motivator with respect to engaging in physical activity, what is the difference between the external and internal motivation?

Internal motivation is a desire born from within a person to do something in order to achieve a sense of personal satisfaction. Individuals with a heightened sense of internal motivation will work tirelessly to achieve their goals even in the absence of commendation or compliment. One common type of intrinsic motivator arises from knowledge. A client might have a certain disease (i.e. heart disease) that runs in his or her family. Knowing that exercise can prevent the onset of this kind of illness, many individuals do not need any constant external pushers to achieve their fitness goals.

On the other hand, external motivation refers to the extrinsic motivation a client may receive from his or her trainer. Accreditation, praise, money and other types of public recognition are all forms of external motivation. The positive boosts in self-image and self-esteem that are typically gained through these reinforcements make many individuals want to continue towards their goals. One common example of an external motivator is a loving wife who continuously praises and compliments her husband's efforts in his strict adherence to a workout program and its results.

27) What can you do as a trainer to effect motivation in your older clients? List 3 common deterrents to starting a program and describe what you would say or do to your client to get them over that hurdle.

One very common deterrent (especially with older clients) to beginning a workout program is the potential for pain that may be caused. Many elder clients who have unfortunately contracted some type of disorder will not want to be exposed to the painful ordeal that they believe exercise to be. However, as a trainer, it is my responsibility to educate such a client about the numerous and wide-ranging benefits of exercise and how routines can be customized to work around any existing conditions.

Another very common deterrent to starting an exercise program is bad habits and ignorance. Many elderly clients have been set in their ways for many years and will not be eager to completely revamp their lifestyles. Additionally, much of the equipment that will be utilized in a typically workout program will be foreign to them. Therefore, once again, it will be up to me as a trainer to educate these clients in the proper use of fitness equipment and the correct form for various exercises. This process will also likely involve a great deal of organization on my part so that I can ensure them of their progress.

Yet another very common hurdle to overcome in initiating a workout program for an older client is self-doubt. Being that many seniors choose to forgo fitness, clients of this demographic may feel embarrassed or unsure of their ability to enter this uncharted territory. Therefore, it certainly behooves any trainer to take some extra time to truly get to know the client and learn to appreciate their concerns. By taking this extra time, trainers will be able to teach their clients about the various benefits of their proposed programs and further develop a genuine sense of trust with these individuals.

Define the following three terms and what role they play in exercise programming among older adults:

Socialization -- this concept refers to a senior's desire to work with people their own age. Being in this type of communal environment will lessen any potential feelings of embarrassment, while also making the fitness endeavor more comfortable and relaxing. This type of interactive fitness atmosphere has also been shown to help combat feelings of depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important for trainers to encourage their clients to get to know one another and bring their friends to the fitness center.

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Senior Fitness.  (2011, June 30).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/senior-fitness-describe-effect/6735750

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