Senior Fitness Info Session at Leisure Fitness

Article by Tyler Bastianelli
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University of Delaware & Leisure Fitness - Partners in Wellness
Article by UDaily staff Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson August 11, 2016
UD program focuses on fitness training for those over 55

With older adults more committed than ever to healthy aging, those over age 55 represent a fast-growing segment of the fitness population. The numbers increase even more when you factor in the many Americans of all ages and backgrounds who are seeking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“Most health clubs and fitness trainers would love to welcome clients of every age, but many do not know how to handle the full range of potential clientele,” says fitness expert Jim Menz, faculty member and program director for the University of Delaware’s Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate.

“Young people may be intrigued by industry advertising and have a particular set of personal goals; whereas other busy Americans are trying to balance work and family with the need to exercise,” said Menz. “Lately we’ve also seen an influx of older Americans take up fitness programs. Each client has his or her unique motivation, needs and challenges.”

UD’s new Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate was designed to help respond to these trends, preparing personal fitness trainers to work with clients of all ages, with a special focus on those over age 55.

The Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate will be of interest to the growing field of exercise, fitness, and other health care professionals serving older adults seeking to increase their longevity and boost their quality of life. It will also appeal to fitness enthusiasts seeking a rewarding career change or side career helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.

“Program graduates will be prepared to work with a full spectrum of clients,” added Menz, “from dedicated athletes to the over 40 million baby boomers seeking to maintain and improve their quality of life throughout the aging process.”

The curriculum has been designed to align with the nationally recognized Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam administered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), making the program of particular interest to those seeking an entry-level personal trainer credential. ACSM is one of the few nationally accredited personal training certifications, opening opportunities throughout the fitness industry.

An information session for the fall Senior Fitness Specialist Certificate is planned for:
Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., at Leisure Fitness in Newark, Delaware, where the course will also be held.

The information session is free, but reservations are requested. An in-person registration discount of 10 percent off the certificate cost will apply for attendees who register and pay in full at the Aug. 23 information session.

Prospective students attending the information session will have an opportunity to meet the program faculty, including lead instructor and program creator Menz, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and corrective exercise specialist with over 20 years’ experience. Other instructors include UD alumnus Mark Szaroleta, a graduate of UD’s doctoral program in physical therapy, and Ann Gioia, a nurse educator with over 20 years’ experience in nursing, health care, curriculum design and teaching.

The certificate program takes place at Leisure Fitness’ Newark location and combines classroom instruction with hands-on learning in a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Classes meet 6-9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings from Aug. 29-Dec. 14.

The 15-week curriculum includes a detailed foundation in exercise science; anatomy and physiology; and health, medical and exercise considerations for older adults. There are no academic prerequisites to enroll in this program.

This noncredit program is offered through the University’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies.

UD students and UD alumni are eligible for a discount when enrolling in this program. Other discounts and financial assistance options are available. For more information or to RSVP for the Aug. 23 information session, visit this website, write to continuing-ed@udel.edu or call 302-831-7600 or 1-866-820-0238.

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