American Council on Exercise Launches Fitness Program to Help Older Adults Lead More Active Lives

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The enhanced Senior Fitness Specialist Program educates exercise professionals to help a growing population of older adults lead healthy, active lives. 

San Diego, Calif., February 17, 2021 – Today, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) launched an updated and enhanced Senior Fitness Specialist Program. This continuing education program provides exercise professionals with population-specific knowledge and behavior-change coaching skills to best serve older adults seeking to live more vibrant, healthier lives, full of movement.

“Research shows a distinct tie between being physically active and higher quality life and mental health as we age,” Cedric X. Bryant, ACE president and chief science officer. “I am proud ACE will be upskilling health and exercise professionals with the knowledge base and practical skills to best serve the older adult population.” 

“The breadth and complexity of the senior population cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko, world renowned exercise gerontologist and dean of the Graduate College at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The ACE materials presents the content professionals need to work with senior clients and empower them to take charge of their long-term function, health, and fitness.”

This new and improved program equips exercise professionals with a wide variety of programming options using the ACE-IFT Model®; movement assessments specifically designed for older adults; and communication techniques like the ACE Mover Method™ to better connect with their older clients helping empower them to achieve and maintain healthier, more active lifestyles.

A central feature of this new specialist program is its focus on how specialized physical-activity programming can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and cognitive decline. 

Evidence shows that physical activity is one of the best lifestyle behaviors for preventing and slowing the progression of these diseases. 

“Exercise and physical activity programs have been shown to improve brain health in a variety of ways, including aspects such as memory, attention, and processing speed,” said Ryan Glatt, MSc, CPT and Brain Health Coach. “With dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease on the rise, an evidence-based, individualized, and multimodal exercise program led by certified exercise professionals may be one of the best ways to make a dent in the epidemic of cognitive decline.”

The older adult population in the United States and around the world is rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 2.1 million people aged 60 and older are projected to be living in the United States by 2050 making the ACE Senior Fitness Specialist Program more relevant than ever.  

“Working with older adults has been one the best decisions I have made in my career and business,” said Damien A. Joyner, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist. “By using behavior change coaching skills and letting my clients be the experts on their own lives, I have seen many older adults go from having difficulty walking or carrying even light objects, to accomplishing their physical activity goals of playing with their grandchildren or running a 5k.” 

The American Council on Exercise is a nonprofit organization with global reach that works to improve physical-activity levels by certifying exercise professionals and health coaches, publishing original research, convening experts on physical activity and health, working directly with community groups, and advocating for policies to get people from all walks of life moving. The 90,000 exercise professionals and health coaches certified by ACE are among the most respected in the world of fitness, helping people embrace physical activity and adopt healthier lifestyles. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.

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