by Kathleen Bresnahan-Dewar
A 2015 report analyzing costs and trends in the fitness industry noted a change in the demographics of those who use fitness centers with increased popularity over all age groups, particularly among Americans over 50. For that age group, hectic family life has slowed down, financial strains and needs may ease, and retirement planning is in full swing. Older adults have more time to do what they want to do.
Fitness not just for the young…
At the Perrysburg Fort Meigs YMCA, Wellness Director Renee Small points out, “We’ve absolutely experienced an increase in memberships for the older population. Insurance companies realize the importance of sharing wellness costs and offer benefits with programs such as Silver Sneakers. The YMCA offers Group Active, a new class focused on the 55+ group.” The Silver Sneakers fitness program benefit is included in more than 65 Medicare health plans. Many plans provide gym memberships at little to no cost for members. Classes are held in participating locations nationwide. “Both our land and water classes are growing. Arthritis classes in the heated therapy pool are very popular,” shared the YMCA’s Small. Jeremy Vance, Perrysburg Planet Fitness, General Manager sees “free unlimited fitness training as a big plus for members. They learn to safely use the equipment and establish routines. Massage chairs, tanning and hydro beds on site round out the fitness experience”.
Make exercise easy and fun. Pick an activity you enjoy and chances are you will keep doing it. Regular exercise and physical activity improves health and fitness, not just appearance. Fitness facilities offer membership promotions at various times in the year. The Toledo area has facilities for every budget, taste and lifestyle.
Nifty 50 and Fit
Joe Blystone, Membership Management and certified personal trainer at The St. James Club in Toledo says, “We’ve seen a big rise in personal training sessions and overall time spent at the club for those aged over 50. They have more time to devote to training as an investment in themselves.” Since opening in the spring of 2015. Vance of Planet Fitness notes “an increase in memberships for older adults. They want health improvements, longevity, to feel and look better and to be able to play with the grandkids.
Older adults are enjoying longer lives and better physical functions compared to previous generations. Blystone relates, “Being physically involved in fitness earlier in life helps prevent physical issues in later years; especially after 50.”
stjamesclub.net, 419 841-5597
ymcatoledo.org, 419 251-9622
j2fit.com, 419 367-2272
plantefitness.com, 419 872.9200