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Finding a Senior-Friendly Fitness Club

If you're an older adult who's considering joining a fitness club, you should choose one that is prepared and equipped to serve you.

That's the advice of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA).

Many older adults have chronic health issues, including physical limitations. Before you make a decision about joining a health club, the ICAA suggests you go over a checklist that can help you determine whether the fitness club is age-friendly.

Some questions you need to ask include:

  • Do you feel comfortable in center's atmosphere?

  • Are the locker rooms clean, accessible and monitored by staff?

  • Are the membership contracts and marketing materials available in large print?

  • Are signs visible and easy to understand?

  • Is the music acceptable and set at a reasonable level?

  • Does the cardiovascular equipment have age-friendly features such as a display panel that's easy to read, easy to change, and easy to understand?

  • Do the facility's treadmills start slowly -- at 0.5 mph?

  • Do the recumbent bikes and steppers have a wide and comfortable seat with armrests?

  • Does the strength-building equipment have instructional placards with simple diagrams, easy-to-read text, and correct usage information?

  • Does the strength building equipment have a low starting resistance -- less than 5 pounds?

  • Does the fitness club have programs to meet the needs of people with chronic ailments such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, balance abnormalities and muscular weakness?

  • Is the staff certified by a nationally recognized senior fitness organization to work with people who have various age-related health issues?

More information

Here's where you can find the complete ICAA checklist.

Reference Source 101


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