Are you ready to join one of the newest boomer fitness trends? The latest statistics show that the number of Baby Boomers – older adults born between 1946 and 1964 during the post-World War II baby boom – taking up fitness training is on the upswing.
Editors Note: 2017 Update. Recent Research has proven a direct link between weight training and improved memory and delayed onset of symptoms of Alzheimers and Dementia. Click here to see our full report.
According to recent studies, 35 percent of Boomers now exercise regularly. Moreover, the growing popularity of technological devices such as fitness trackers is resonating with the Baby Boomer generation, who view these devices as another form of self-expression.
Boomer Fitness Trends Pay Off
There are plenty of reasons why adults over age 50 should have a fitness regime. According to the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the choice to start a new fitness regime is not so much a lifestyle choice as it is a way to prevent disease.
In short, regular exercise is gaining a reputation among older Baby Boomers as a way to both manage and prevent disease.
That’s spurred in no small part by another of the boomer fitness trends – the willingness of health care insurers to pay for exercise programs that can help to prevent costly diseases.
According to a recent study, adults aged 50+ who started exercising just 90 minutes a week saved, on average, over $2,200 per year in medical costs. That’s good news for health insurers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., too, reported that Baby Boomers participating in exercise programs had significantly lower healthcare costs overall. And that seems to be the general consensus.
Launching a fitness routine is the most effective way for Boomers to cut down on medical expenses and lengthen their expected life span.
How to Get Started on These Boomer Fitness Trends
The best beginner exercises are the ones that can help older adults avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Thus, strength training, cardiovascular activity and flexibility training are at the top of the agenda of many older adults who are embracing the Boomer fitness trends. In one AARP survey of adults aged 50 plus, the most popular activities for Boomers are strength training and aerobics, followed by low-impact activities such as walking, dancing and yoga.
The key, of course, is how to integrate these activities into your home fitness routine. Resistance equipment, say fitness experts, is both more effective and safer than free weights.
That’s one big reason why home gyms have taken off in popularity – they offer a safer option for older adults than simply working out with free weights, kettlebells or barbells. Since the range of motion on these machines is carefully controlled, there’s little to no risk of injury.
Good beginner exercises would include those that work the muscles through a full range of motion. You’ll want to work all the major muscle groups – the arms, legs, chest and back – as part of a circuit training routine. Focus on getting in enough reps to make sure that your heart rate reaches its target rate.
No Age Barriers to These Boomer Fitness Trends
Especially for the oldest Baby Boomers (those in their 60’s and 70’s), experts advise creating a fitness routine that’s linked to their daily routine. These might be activities related to cooking, doing laundry or climbing stairs.
For Baby Boomers who have to get up and down a flight of stairs every day, for example, there should be more emphasis on working out the legs.
The good news is that there are many home gyms that meet the fitness and wellness goals of Baby Boomers.
Many of these all in one gym machines are priced low enough not to make a significant impact on your budget.
The modern home gym machines make it very easy to include weight training into a weekly routine. And now we know that weight training can improve mental functioning within weeks and last for years.
Are you ready to make a dramatic difference to your health and mental functioning?
Check out the best home gym options here.
One thing is clear – these Boomer fitness trends are here to stay. Just as the Boomers reinvented health and fitness in the 1980s, they are now reinventing how older adults should approach home fitness.