The baby boomer fitness trend has really taken off! Baby boomers may be sneaking into their golden years, but that doesn’t mean they’re slowing down. Many are now venturing into gyms, exploring local parks, and traveling the country in search of fun ways to stay active.
The trend makes sense, considering the fact that fit seniors have less medical interventions, are less susceptible to falls, have a lowered risk of death, are not as socially isolated and susceptible to depression, and enjoy a slower rate of biological aging. Simply put, there's no downside.
If you’re a part of this generation, there are more programs than ever aimed at keeping you healthy. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine included fitness programs for older adults among the leading fitness trends.
If you’re interested in moving your body without the boredom of a treadmill or the typical senior fitness class, you’re likely to find many creative alternatives taking place in your local community.
The Silver Sneakers Flex program offers workout programs designed for seniors, but you don’t have to go to the gym to find them. These baby boomer fitness classes, walking groups, hiking adventures, and other opportunities are taking place at community and senior centers, yoga and karate studios, public parks, swimming pools, retirement centers, and other local venues.
While you can still find water aerobics and other traditional classes through the Silver Sneakers program, the Flex program focuses on creative class ideas. You may find yourself grooving through a Zumba Gold class one day and meeting your Flex walking group at the park the next. What about Tai Chi, boot camp, yoga, or a brisk hike? Perform a location search on the Silver Sneaker website to see what classes are offered in your local area.
You don’t have to be a Silver Sneakers member to take advantage of fun Zumba classes designed for baby boomers fitness. The Zumba brand is quickly expanding, and they offer Zumba Gold classes just for older adults. If you’re looking for a more sensational version of the traditional water aerobics class, look for an Aqua Zumba class near you. You’ll have the benefit of working out in the water for the protection of your joints, but it comes with a heaping dose of dancing fun.
A simple search on the Zumba website will give you the details on all classes in your local area. Many classes are also open for drop-ins, so you might consider looking up locations and times when you’re traveling away from home.
You have most likely heard about the stepping trend. Don't be fooled into thinking that slipping on the wearable fitness device of your choice and heading out to see how many steps you can get in before the sun goes down is the answer. No science validates this as a way to increase fitness. Unless you increase the intensity, difficulty, or your heart rate, you are wasting a lot of time.
For anyone considering a wearable fitness device, I advise getting one such as a Fitbit app or heart rate monitor that can differentiate between moderate or rigorous activities. If improving fitness is your goal, don't leave out important heart rate measurements of fitness levels such as resting heart rate, and heart-rate recovery.
You can find active FitBit groups on Facebook and many other social media sites and it may surprise you how many baby boomers are among the most active members. Think of a wearable device as a tool rather than a fix.
Many wearable devices can track your sleep, caloric intake, water intake, floors climbed, and heart rate. FitBit allows you to participate in challenges with other baby boomer fitness enthusiasts around the world, extending the social network of baby boomers in a healthy manner.
Finally, don't depend on the accuracy of a tracker to determine your calorie burn. These devices are best for monitoring heart rate, distance, speed, and GPS tracking.
The baby boomer generation is embracing the concept of exercise as medicine. As more boomers participate in these upbeat programs, you can bet that more fitness programs for older adults are likely to be developed.
This is a great time for you to jump on the baby boomer fitness train. So, get out there and enjoy an active lifestyle along with your fellow boomers. You just might add some fun to your life in the process.