OF AGING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Training programs should include general background information
about the aging process and the benefits of an active lifestyle.
Demographic information and various definitions of aging
usual, and successful aging).
benefits of physical activity as it relates to disease
prevention, health promotion,
and quality of life.
SCIENCE AND PSYCHOSOCIAL
ASPECTS OF AGING
Training programs should include physiological, biomechanical,
and motor learning
principles to develop safe and effective physical
activity/exercise programs for older
Physiological and functional changes associated with aging
(e.g., the cardiovascular And respiratory systems, the
musculoskeletal system, and the central nervous system) and
how these changes may impact exercise activity and program
movement analysis and motor learning principles for proper
selection and implementation of specific exercises which
will enhance functional capacity.
stigma regarding aging, the disengagement theory, the
"sandwich syndrome," and common psychological problems
associated with aging (i.e., loneliness, depression,
Demographic considerations as they relate to individual
participation in physical activity programs.
Training programs should include information on selection,
administration, and interpretation of appropriate preexercise
health screening and activity , lifestyle, and fitness
assessments to provide a basis for exercise program design, and
to make appropriate referrals to other health professionals.
for test selection.
Cardiovascular risk factor identification.
activity, and other lifestyle appraisals.
Background and medical screening.
Physiological and functional fitness assessments (e.g.,
heart rate, blood pressure, waist to hip ratio, and field
tests for strength, flexibility, submaximal endurance, and
national guidelines for exercise testing and prescription
(American College of Sports Medicine, 1995).
Training programs should include information on using the
results of the preexercise assessment to make appropriate
decisions regarding individual and group exercise program
interpret data for effective program development and
and functional fitness components related to activities of
daily living (i.e., strength, flexibility, cardiovascular
endurance, balance, agility, coordination, and various
mobility tasks-gait, stair climbing, standing up, reaching,
Appropriate application of exercise principles (i.e., mode,
frequency, duration, intensity, progression).
formats and session designs for different functional
Individual and group exercise sequencing and exercise
considerations and consequent equipment options.
Participant recruitment and tracking.
programs should include information on establishing, with client
input, realistic, measurable short- and long-term goals for the
used to identify client goals.
Motivation, exercise adherence, and behavior modification
with respect to goal setting.
pre-assessment data in goal setting.
Training programs should include information on leading safe and
effective individualized and group cardiovascular, strength, and
Senior-appropriate exercise, including warm-up, aerobic
exercise, strength training, and cool-down/relaxation.
application and implementation of various exercise methods.
Relaxation classes, aquatics, and fitness walking programs.
Appropriate monitoring and adjustment of intensity levels
and other training variables.
affecting exercise compliance (i.e., medical history,
culture, safety, family and physician reinforcement).
programs should include information on how to incorporate
effective motivational, communication, and leadership skills
related to teaching individual and group exercise classes.
application of enthusiasm.
creation of a safe and comfortable environment.
feedback and reinforcement.
Identification of, and modification for, individual needs,
values, and interests.
and ethnic-cultural differences.
application of caring, compassion, and support.
activities fun (e.g., use of humor, special equipment,
creative movements, music, novelty, and props).
Appropriate motivational rewards.
PREVENTION, FIRST AID, AND
Training programs should include information on preventing
injury by adapting exercise for fitness level and medical
Age-related medical conditions (e.g., cardiovascular
disease, hypertension, respiratory disorders, obesity,
arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, diabetes, balance and
motor control deficits, visual and hearing disorders, and
adapt group and individual exercise programs to accommodate
for age- related medical conditions, and for people
recovering from falls, operations, and illness.
adapt group and individual exercise programs to accommodate
for prosthetics (e.g., artificial hips, knees, legs).
programs should include information on the physiological and
psychological effects of common medications at rest and during
medications/exercise interactions such as reduced heart rate
and systemic blood pressure, postural hypotension,
arrhythmias, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, balance and
coordination problems, altered depth perception, depression,
dehydration, and urinary incontinence.
programs should include information on how to respond
appropriately to first aid and emergency situations.
that indicate immediate exercise cessation and/or immediate
medical service activation.
appropriate response to emergency situations ( e.g., cardiac
arrest, airway obstruction, emergencies requiring rescue
breathing, heat- and cold-related injuries, musculoskeletal
injuries including strains, sprains and fractures, diabetic
emergencies, bleeding, falls, seizures, and shock).
establish an emergency action plan.
AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
Training programs should include information on legal, ethical,
and professional standards.
issues and fitness instruction, including legal concepts and
related to lawsuits, including scope of practice, industry
standards, and negligence; types of applicable insurance
bounds of competence.
standards for the fitness instructor profession.
of continuing education to enhance one's professional
appropriate referrals to physicians and other qualified
• C. Jessie Jones, Committee Chair, Ruby Gerontology Center,
California State University Fullerton
• Janie Clark, The American Senior Fitness Association
• Richard Cotton, American Council on Exercise
• Laura Gladwin, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
• Gwen Hyatt, Desert Southwest Fitness, Inc.
• Lee Morgan, Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research
• Kay Van Norman, Council on Aging and Adult Development (a
structure within AHPERD)