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Older people “don’t die” when pushed hard, Active Ageing chief tells PTs

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One of the biggest misconceptions made in the physical activity sector is that retired people cannot train hard.

Writing in the latest issue of Health Club Management, Colin Milner, chief executive of the International Council on Active Ageing, said older people, like everyone else, need gyms and health clubs to offer them tailored programmes to help improve their stamina, strength, power and flexibility.

Using HIIT (high intensity interval training) with older adults is becoming increasingly popular, according to Milner.

He said: “Like anyone else, when you push them hard, they don’t die, they get stronger, fitter and more independent.”

Going forward, Milner said that personal training will become “precision training”, with technology allowing trainers to give precise advice.

World Health Organization guidelines for senior adults say that older people should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.

Also in the piece, titled Fitter with Age, Dr Stephan Bandelow, senior lecturer in psychology at Loughborough University, said health conditions should be taken into consideration when working with this demographic, and that older people have a slow recovery time. Adding: “However, they do not need to be treated with kid gloves.”

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One of the biggest misconceptions made in the physical activity sector is that retired people cannot train hard.
HAF
Older people need gyms and health clubs to offer them tailored programmes, according to Colin Milner
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