As the world becomes more health-conscious, the fitness industry continues to grow. From gym memberships to boutique studios, the options for fitness enthusiasts are endless. However, there is a forgotten generation in this equation – people aged between 45-65 years old. While fitness businesses focus their marketing on those under 40 years old, on the body beautiful, and beach bodies, if you are in the 45-65 age bracket you may feel overlooked by their marketing. This is a sad mistake, as your 50s are the perfect time to build your long-term health and fitness. This period is when you can make the most long-term health and fitness gains to prepare for the years ahead.
Another growing trend is the increase in group-exercise focused businesses. This model, by definition, typically cannot focus on individual needs such as injuries. The problem with this approach is that people aged between 45-65 years old often start to experience more physical pain, stiffness, and develop more injuries. They may have old injuries that have resurfaced or new ones that have developed as a result of work, parenting, or just the passage of time! The current focus on group exercise classes is not suitable for addressing these individual needs.
Additionally, most fitness businesses focus on weight loss, rather than the components that ensure long-term health, such as strength and aerobic fitness. While weight loss is important for overall health, we know that strength and aerobic fitness are the two key physical factors that will ensure the best quality return on investment into your future years! Aerobic exercise helps improve cardiovascular, metabolic and brain health, while strength training helps maintain muscle mass, which is essential for maintaining mobility and independence, as well as bone density, as we age. If you want to dig a bit deeper into the value of aerobic fitness for your future health I invite you to read this article; and if you want to understand the benefits of strength, then this one is for you!
Common issues we see in those in their 40s, 50s and beyond
We find that most people aged between 40-50 years old are focusing primarily on their families, jobs, and careers, and therefore, the time and priority devoted to their exercise is affected. This is magnified if you feel that businesses that don’t cater to your specific needs. However, we know that your 40s and 50s are the perfect time to build your long-term health and fitness! This is a period when the most long-term health and fitness gains can be made.
Commonly, a decrease in activity over these decades, compounded by old injuries, repetitive movements at work, combined with with more indulgent diets leads to undesirable changes in health. So in our 60’s (or later) we are nudged back into exercise, but now by our GPs, and asked to access the services of Exercise Physiologists. These are the perfect professionals to help you use exercise to manage the ‘medical’ conditions that may now affect you, but wouldn’t it be so much better if we had stayed active in the first place? Let me clarify: it is never too late to start! But staying active in this mid-life period, between 45-60 years of age, is crucial for long-term health and fitness gains. At this age, the body begins to change, and the benefits of exercise are amplified. Exercise can help prevent or delay chronic diseases, improve bone density, and reduce the risk of falls, among other benefits. But for me, the biggest benefit is having a body that allows me to do the things I love!
So, what type of fitness business should you be looking for?
Firstly, ones that focus on individual needs. This means providing personalized training plans that take into account any injuries, aches, or pains. It also means providing modified exercises for those who need them.
Secondly, fitness businesses that shift their focus from weight loss to physical capacities that bring the best returns on investment over the long term, such as strength and aerobic fitness.
Thirdly, businesses that cater to the time constraints of people in this busy period of life. This means offering shorter classes, health behaviour modification support in the form of coaching and digital resources that could even be accessed from home or during lunch breaks.
A focus to meet your specific needs
To address all these needs, at iNform we have fine tuned our service to our clients to now focus primarily on the needs of this age bracket! We understand what its like to be busy with work, careers and families. Our senior team and owners are in the journey themselves of tailoring their own exercise and health behaviours to build the best possible future years. We know what its like to be very active through our earlier years and having to optimise our exercise to prevent injuries, stay strong and fit, in the middle of busy lives. We know we still have a great run-way before us to accumulate some really valuable strength and fitness, and we would love to share this journey with you! We have even built a team of Exercise Scientists working together with Exercise Physiologists, so you have the right professional looking after you depending on your specific needs!
You might want to even check out our Fitness Forecaster concept, which we use to prioritise and focus the work we do with our clients here!
We look forward to working with you to optimise your health and fitness behaviours to improve your strength, fitness and capacity to have the best years ahead!