The fitness industry is currently in need of health and fitness professionals who can cater to the unique needs of mature populations. As someone over 50, here are some things you can do to help others live a stronger, more vibrant life.
1. Leverage your crystallized intelligence
The role of a health and fitness professional involves teaching, leading, and inspiring others toward a healthier lifestyle. The wisdom and knowledge acquired through life experience, especially during middle age, provide a strong foundation for success in this field.
2. A growing demand
As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement and Generation X follows, there’s a growing demand for health and fitness services catering to the over 50 market.
This demographic’s diverse needs, from beginners to competitive athletes, present endless opportunities. Despite the growing number of active older adults, the majority don’t meet the minimum requirement for physical activity and sedentary behavior is highest amongst older adults. This is an opportunity to engage, motivate, and guide others toward a more active life.
3. The relatability factor
With the growing active aging market, mature adults often seek guidance from someone who understands their life stage. As a mature fitness professional, your relatability fosters trust, especially for those embarking on their fitness journey in later years.
4. Insights into wellness gaps
Personal experiences with aging loved ones provide unique insights into gaps in wellness and fitness services for the older population. Witnessing their aging process can inspire you to create programs or services that enhance the health and well-being of older adults.
For example, Lynn Jordan created Joyful Boogie after touring senior living facilities for her aging parents. The programs offered at the homes didn’t excite her or make her look forward to her own aging process. This inspired her to create her own program that incorporated her training in yoga and dance to offer something fun, joyful, and empowering that’s accessible for all ability levels.
5. Create what you desire
Approaching the second half of life prompts reflection on future activities and health. The activities you aspire to engage in now and in the future are likely shared by others. You have the opportunity to lead the way by creating the programs and services you wish existed, just as Arlo Niederer did with the Boomer Climb Club, fostering a community of rock climbers over 50.
6. Harness your work history
Skills developed over years of work, such as relationship-building, professionalism, and maturity, are valuable assets in an industry often skewed toward youth. Your diverse background can set you up for success as a health and fitness professional.
As Dan Duran, a former police officer turned personal trainer, aptly notes, “All the skills you learn in other careers or in life, are what I believe truly make you successful as a personal trainer. That is some maturity. The ability to communicate. Those are some of the skill sets that really helped me take off.”
Your life skills can serve as the cornerstone of a fulfilling second career in the health and fitness industry.
Whether you choose to work in health clubs, community centers, assisted living facilities, or venture into entrepreneurship, seize this remarkable opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others while enjoying a fulfilling second career.
Erin Eleuterio is an experienced older adult fitness professional and host of the Second Act Fit Pros podcast. Her podcast highlights the lives of individuals working in health and fitness in their second act and those that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for mature adults through movement and improved health. Click here to sign up for the Second Act Fit Pros newsletter to get information on upcoming, interactive, online events on how to become a health and fitness professional.