Kittle: The value of a personal trainer for fall prevention

The risk of falls increases due to age-related changes include loss of sight and hearing.

As I mentioned in my last column on fall prevention, falls are the most frequent cause of injury in older adults with related hospitalization for Canadian seniors.

Falls cause more than 90 per cent of all hip fractures in seniors, and 20 per cent of those injured die within a year of the fracture.

The risk of falls increases due to age-related changes include loss of sight and hearing; side-effects from medications; urgency during toileting; poor footwear; and other environmental factors.

Decreased muscle strength, decreased balance, and poor coordination are also culprits.

In an effort to prevent falls, the recommendation is that seniors participate in strength training activities two to four days a week.

Seniors stand to make significant physical gains from physical conditioning.

As well, working with a personal trainer has significant benefits compared to exercising alone.

The supervision of a personal trainer guarantees the most benefits with the least amount of risks.

Working closely with other health professionals as a team provides the best program for the senior.

The socialization aspect of personal training, either individually or in a group, proves beneficial.

Personal trainers empower seniors with healthy lifestyle guidelines, which they may tend to neglect as they get older, and can help seniors to have more independent, functional lives where they live longer, stronger, and more productive years.

It is important before putting your trust and health in the hands of a personal trainer that you make sure they are a fully prepared, trained  professional.

Here are some tips on what to look for in a personal trainer:

Certification

Do not assume that because your personal trainer is working at a gym that they are certified.

When you find a personal trainer that you might hire, visit the website of the certification body that they claim to belong to and check your trainer’s certification.

You want to see that the personal trainer is also keeping his certification current, and that they continue to attend classes, seminars, and successfully complete continuing education courses for credit.

Your personal trainer should also be currently certified in first aid and CPR.

Medical history and evaluation

Before a personal trainer puts you through your first workout, they should take your medical history and have you perform a fitness evaluation and assessment.

Fitness Programs

Once your personal trainer completes their initial evaluation, they will set up a program that should incorporate your needs and goals.

References

Before you hire a personal trainer, don’t be afraid to get references from other clients.

Getting Personal

A personal trainer who approaches you to offer a session or give pointers on your form shouldn’t look like they need a personal trainer themselves.

They should be in good physical shape. In the health and fitness industry, a personal trainer’s appearance is definitely part of their marketing.

As a personal trainer myself, I have been especially busy with my seniors designing home and gym Fall Prevention fitness programs.

 

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