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EXERCISE & AGEING


Pensioners may just as easily be fit and sporty as frail or infirm


STEVE COLLINS Freedom Leisure fitness manager, Crowborough Leisure Centre, UK


T


he vital thing to remember is that over-50s don’t constitute one


market: a pensioner could be a triathlete or frail and infi rm. If you’re going to specifi cally target this group, you’ll have to hone in on a specifi c tribe within it. For example, there’s defi nitely a


market for a centre dedicated to programmes such as exercise for stroke, falls prevention and so on. However, it may not be fi nancially viable in the UK, as people aren’t used to paying for healthcare once something’s medicalised, and private health insurance companies tend to only pay for physiotherapy. Away from the more affl uent locations, it would take a change in medical and healthcare culture in this country for such a centre to work. I believe it’s more feasible to cater


for this market within existing centres, where a broader range of services


Gyms could have over-50s instructors as role models


meets the varying needs of the diverse over-50s population. If chair-based exercise is what they need, it’s there, but if they want to do Body Combat, play badminton or do HIIT in the gym, that’s available too. We offer a range of over-50s


sessions and comprehensive exercise 46 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


referral schemes. We also have studio instructors aged over 50 as role models. But mainly it’s about not patronising people and assuming that, because of their age, they’re only going to like certain things and not be fi t. Listen to the customer in front of you and fi nd out what they actually want and enjoy.


March 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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