Fitness programs for the older set?
December 15, 2016 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Where are the role models or influencers or programs for older people who want to get fit? Like 50+?

Are there websites, YouTube channels or Twitter people who focus on this audience? I'm looking for motivation but I need it to be for the very out of shape + not particularly young + taking into consideration the way a person's body works at 50+. Where should I be looking?
posted by BlahLaLa to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Try some of the Jane Fonda workouts on YouTube.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:51 PM on December 15, 2016

I recently found this page at to be helpful as I began working-out with resistance bands (actually tubes) which has been going well for me so far. I am 60+ FYI, and it was suggested (to me) that I investigate this type of program by our Fitness Coach at work. I am not a fitness coach, this is not fitness advice.
posted by forthright at 7:05 PM on December 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm 40 and about two months ago started up at KoKo Fitness Club. It has great programs for all types and ages.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:06 PM on December 15, 2016

I've been doing the Daily Burn True Beginner program. The people doing the work out are older and have some kind of health issues they are working back from. And the instructor gives a lot of advice about alternate ways to do the exercises if something is too challenging. It's not a free website, but it's been the only one ive actually been able to get through as every other beginner course isn't beginner enough for me.
posted by ilovewinter at 7:13 PM on December 15, 2016

i'm 49 and was one of the younger people at the gym at my local sports clinic, so if you want to go to a gym you may be able to find one with similar clientele. in this case i think it was because it was associated with a clinic that treats a wide variety of people, so people start as part of a treatment and then stay on (in contrast, the gym i am at now is just some random place in town, and i'm one of the oldest - i wouldn't recommend that just starting out).

(and you don't need to know what to do - they have people who will assess you, design a workout plan for you, and show you what to do)
posted by andrewcooke at 7:22 PM on December 15, 2016

I work at a community centre where we have a couple different zumba programs which seem pretty popular for approximately that demographic - maybe skewing a bit older. "Zumba Gold" might be the program you're looking for.
posted by sagc at 7:49 PM on December 15, 2016

Ernestine Shepherd, was, in her words, "a total couch potato until age 56". I think she was 77 in that video. She's 80 now and still going strong.

You could talk to a trainer at the Y or a community gym about starting a beginner's resistance training program. It's good for people at any age.

The one thing I'd tweak for age is sticking to the middle rep range -2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions - vs going quite heavy (eg 3-5 reps) to keep things as safe as possible for joints. Worth being careful about exercise selection, too.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:54 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

My gym ("Wellness Center") is associated with a hospital system and has a medical fitness program specifically for seniors. You could look for see if you can find this kind of gym in your area.
posted by emkelley at 3:34 AM on December 16, 2016

I've been on the same mission, but haven't found much in the way of reliable resources on the web.

One place I'd suggest you look is the aarp website, and searching for "fitness." Their resources can be a bit hit and miss, but I've found some helpful hints there.

I've been thinking about creating a blog myself that addresses getting back in shape. Please memail me if you have any ideas about what you'd like to see in such a site.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:28 AM on December 16, 2016

Find a trainer who works with middled aged people and is clued about helping people start from a not-fit point. I've been working with a trainer for about 5 years and it's definitely some of the best money I've ever spent. I'm 55 and in the best shape of my life. I was not horrendously out of shape when I started working with him but he works with loads of older clients - the oldest is in her 90s.

The other key for me is that gym time is priority time over pretty much anything else because being consistent is the key to making progress. I guess that doesn't help address the role model thing but for quite a few years I had a training partner and we egged each other on. Finding a training buddy and/or classes you like can make a big difference. Find a gym not geared to 20 somethings and you'll likely find a lot of that. If you're in the Ann Arbor area I can recommend someone! And good on you for thinking about making this change.
posted by leslies at 5:32 AM on December 16, 2016

What you're looking for is called "Silver Sneakers " and most gyms with group exercise classes will have them. Sorry, no link. They are programs with the age and fitness level you describe in mind.
posted by ptm at 9:19 AM on December 16, 2016

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