Age-appropriate exercises gain ground in 2011

Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:03am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Health clubs, aware that the fitness needs of boomers, people in their 30s and 40s and youths differ, will be offering more age-appropriate workouts in the new year.

Group exercise classes, both traditional and novel, will continue their upswing in 2011, as will personal training, sports-specific workouts and wellness programing, according to IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association), the global fitness trade organization.

"Clubs are being very specific to their demographic market," said IHRSA spokeswoman Meredith Poppler "They are realizing they can't be one-size-fits-all."

IHRSA identified the most significant trends in health clubs for 2011 through industry research and interviews among its 9000 member health clubs in 75 countries.

Many clubs and trainers will ride the silver tsunami of baby boomers, the oldest of whom will turn 65 this year, with programs tailored to the fitness needs of older adults.

"Baby boomers are obviously the fastest growing market for operators across the board," said Poppler. "They have more free time, and in many cases, more funds."

The second fastest growing demographic is, more surprisingly, children of ages 6 to 17.

"Youth programing is hot topic," said Poppler. "Obesity is a problem all over the world."   Continued...