Let’s chat about the active aging demographic. You’ve heard the stats, right? The baby boomers being one of the largest generations approaching their golden years has lead to an influx of products, services, housing, etc. geared towards this group of folks. Within this demographic lies a wide variety of mobility levels and skills set. In turn this brings a challenge for the instructor but there are all sorts of ways to make the CardioWave program accessible for anyone wanting to hop on a GlideFit.
Most facilities upon first view think this is a workout for only the young & athletic. Not the case. It certainly can be, but we can find ways for those who have balance issues to keep their center of gravity closer to the board. Maybe that means sitting, utilizing the tabletop position on all 4’s. Our certified instructors are taught a variety of ways to make it work in a fun class for all. The biggest question for those lacking in upper body strength, how do you get them on/off the board. Our instructors are trained to handle this too.
GlideFit instructor Shannon Jones Slish at the YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counites recently shared a success story of a patron from one of her classes. Featured in the photo above is Clarence. “He is 85 years old, and he takes my GlideFit class at the Y. Six weeks ago Clarence watched me teach a class, then came up to me after and asked, “is there a class for men?” He had only ever seen women on the GlideFit mats, and he wanted to know if he could take the class, too. I assured him that yes, anyone is welcome, and then offered to let him climb on one of the mats and try it out. He was nervous, not sure he’d be able to climb up on it. But, he DID get up on that mat, and there was a huge smile on his face! He shared with me that when he was “young” he was a competitive kayaker, and he was looking for a fun and challenging water activity to get involved in. He left the pool and immediately signed up for my class.
Fast forward through the next 6 weeks of classes where he has had a GREAT time, and not fallen in the pool once. Due to some limitations (that don’t slow him down very often), Clarence has stayed at the level one exercises on the board (three or more points of contact). But, today we did surfer pop ups, and he started at the level one option, but then attempted the advanced standing version….and did it successfully the FIRST time on each side, with NO falling in! The smile was awesome.
Clarence is an active go go go type of guy. He hikes, snow shoes, and so much more. He shared with me today that this past summer he was crossing a creek on a log, and his balance wasn’t so great, and he fell. Luckily, with the First Aid Training he had received he could cater to himself as he wasn’t seriously hurt, but it scared him. Today, being able to stand up on both sides, and complete this challenge has showed him how far he has come in 6 weeks, and he knows his balance has really improved. I asked if I could take his picture and share it, and he said yes. At the end of today’s session, he said he couldn’t wait for next week’s class. He is a fabulous example of being and staying active and healthy no matter how old you are or what your physical limitations might be.”
Open your mind to the possibility & help this demographic recognize the potential as well as the benefits to taking their stability workout to a board. Try something new in your workout regiment. What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you. See you at the pool!