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Exercise Safety Guidelines for Senior Citizens

use of equipment and technique, will know FIRST AID and CPR, and will do the proper screening, assessment, and goal setting that are so important for safety. Look for a Senior Fitness Specialist; they will better understand how changes in age impact the function of the body systems and how these changes will affect FUNCTIONAL MOBILITY and INDEPENDENCE.



Safety Tip #3:   Check Credentials.

People receiving little or no specialized training can advertise themselves as Senior Fitness instructors. Because there is wide range of medical conditions and functional abilities of the older population, physical activity instructors of older adults require more knowledge, skills, and experience than instructors of younger adults. Find out if your Trainer has obtained a specialized SENIOR FITNESS CERTIFICATION, has experience training seniors and if so, for how long.



Safety Tip #4:   Always use good Posture and Form.

Good form protects you from injury and helps you gain the most benefit from each exercise. Posture refers to the body's alignment and positioning with respect to the ever-present force of gravity. Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles. Good posture distributes the force of gravity through our body structure evenly and insures that our body is not overstressed.



Safety Tip #5:    SLOW IT D O W N.

When you are exercising, slowing down the movements and forcing yourself to be aware is of the utmost safety. REMEMBER --- There is no need to rush. Slowing it down can PREVENT OVER EXERTION.....REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY.....and...DECREASE THE CHANCES OF FALLING.



Safety Tip#6:    If you feel pain, STOP EXERCISING!

This may seem like common sense and it is, but there are many people who still believe in the old saying “No pain, no gain” This is nonsense. Pain is your BODY TELLING YOU that something is wrong.



Safety Tip#7:     Don’t hold your breath during exercise.

Holding your breath while exercising can potentially produce what is called the … VALSALVA EFFECT. The Valsalva effect is when there is a sharp rise in blood pressure followed by a sudden drop in blood pressure. This can cause one to faint or blackout while performing an exercise.In addition, muscles need oxygen to function properly.



Safety Tip#8     Assess your Environment.

Make sure that the area you are using for your fitness is lighted and uncluttered. If you have vision or hearing problems work with a trainer or companion. Vision and Hearing changes occur in the later years and affect a vast majority of adults 65 years or older. Primary changes in vision include: a Decrease in VISUAL ACUITY, Farsightedness. and changes in color perception.



Safety Recommendations for people with Vision Issues:

1---If at all possible have equipment and instructions in large print.

2---When using upright cardiovascular training equipment, always use the emergency shut-off clips.

3---Use brightly colored tape to increase color contrast when possible.

4---If the exercise program involves a change in location with different light conditions, allow your eyes to adjust to the change in light before beginning new exercises.



Seniors with Hearing difficulties.....Hearing impairments can range from issues with certain frequencies of noise, to the inability to hear noise at low intensities, to total deafness. The effects of hearing loss may include difficulty in hearing high-pitched tones, distortions in the ability to understand human speech, a ringing or hissing in the ear, and problems hearing in a noisy environment.


Safety Recommendations for people with Hearing concerns:

1---Work with a trainer or companion that will face you when speaking.....

2---request a trainer to speak in a slow and clear manner....

3---exercise at a time when there is minimal distraction and noise....

4---Wear and TURN ON your hearing aid.



Safety Tip 9:      Use the right clothing and shoes.

Thermoregulation is a problem during exercise due to a reduction in sweat response and poor circulation to the skin as we age. This may cause older adults to feel cold or hot more easily. Due to these changes, it is important to be aware of the signs of heat-related illness, even in controlled temperature conditions.


1---Check the weather conditions if working outdoors and modify the intensity of exercise accordingly.

2---Always have water on hand and drink water frequently during the workout. If workouts last 90 minutes or longer, consider a sport drink replacing electrolytes.


Safety Recommendations for Clothing and Footwear

1---Dress in layers. This will allow you to add or remove clothing when you feel cold or warm.

2---Don’t wear baggy clothes that may get caught on equipment.

3---Wear shoes with good shock-absorption, a supportive arch, and a spacious toe box.



Safety Tip #10:     Don’t exercise if you are injured or sick!

Use common sense and don't exercise when you have a cough, fever, cold or flu.  But don't let a temporary illness put a permanent stop to your exercising.  Consult a physician even if your illness is minor.  Resume your activities as soon as you can.  After an illness, start your exercise program at the beginning again.  Do not immediately take up where you left off. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild.





More Guidelines

Safety Tip #1:    Check with your Doctor before you begin an Exercise Program!

According to the National Institute of Health, older adults will do just fine if they practice safe exercise by increasing physical activity to a moderate level. Your Doctor will encourage you to be physically active; BUT depending on your health may RESTRICT some activities if medically necessary.


Safety Tip #2:   Select a Certified Personal Trainer that has experience working with Senior Citizens.

I highly recommend a Certified Personal Trainer for Senior Citizens.  As we age the physical concerns increase. Every person has different strengths, weaknesses, and functional challenges. By the time we age the decline in our abilities, health, and degenerative conditions require special attention from a professional. A trainer will teach the proper


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