This continuing education course presents competency-based objectives
for fitness instructors and personal trainers to be able to lead safe
and effective activity programs for older adults with diverse abilities.
The skill of teaching movement and exercise to older adults is often overlooked in training programs. Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults Print CE Course details the fundamental knowledge and skills outlined in the International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Activity Instructors of Older Adults developed by an international coalition of senior fitness specialists. The text presents competency-based objectives for fitness instructors and personal trainers to be able to lead safe activity programs for older adults with diverse abilities.
Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults Print CE Course will help you understand various predictors of successful aging and explain the benefits of physical activity for body, mind, and spirit. The course identifies and dispels some of the common myths about physical activity and aging and discusses initiatives to promote more physical activity among older adults. Coverage of risk factors that determine the health, physical activity, and disability status of older adult participants helps you design safe, effective programs. You will also be able to incorporate simple mind–body exercises into a well-rounded exercise program. At the conclusion of the course, you will take a continuing education exam for credit through participating organizations.
Describe the general demographics of aging throughout the world and explain the differences among chronological, biological, and functional aging.
Understand the general benefits of physical activity for promoting health and reducing disease and disability.
Understand the rationale for the development of the subdiscipline of kinesiology called gerokinesiology.
Understand various predictors of successful aging and explain the benefits of physical activity for body, mind, and spirit.
Discuss how physical activity affects older adults’ quality of life, and describe the social benefits associated with physical activity for older adults.
Discuss national initiatives to restructure society in order to promote more physical activity among older adults.
Explain how physiological declines in various body systems affect functional mobility and independence, and identify types of regular physical activity that can help counteract these performance-limiting changes.
Select, administer, and interpret the results of screening tools to determine the health, physical activity, and disability status of older adult participants.
Recognize the signs and symptoms of diseases that place an individual at risk during physical testing and exercise.
Describe the purpose and benefits of conducting field-based assessments, and select assessment tools that measure physical impairments and functional limitations of older adults.
Locate resources that describe how to administer and interpret field-based assessment instruments.
Administer and interpret results of selected tests of cardiorespiratory function, muscle strength, and balance and provide meaningful feedback to clients about laboratory test results.
Develop an individualized behavior modification plan that includes key cognitive and behavior change strategies.
Assist older clients in developing short- and long-term goals, monitoring progress, and modifying goals as needed.
Apply exercise principles when developing physical activity programs for older adults.
Develop appropriate activities for the warm-up and cool-down components of an exercise class for older adults.
Describe the age-associated changes in joint and muscle flexibility and the benefits of flexibility training for daily function.
Incorporate flexibility training into a physical activity program for older adults.
Describe the effectiveness and safety of resistance training and design safe resistance training programs for older adults.
Describe the physiological and psychological benefits of aerobic endurance training.
Design and adapt aerobic endurance training activities in individual and group settings.
Describe how age-associated changes in multiple body systems affect balance and mobility, and identify the essential skills for good balance and mobility.
Incorporate simple mind–body exercises into a well-rounded exercise program.
Develop aquatic exercises that are appropriate for older adults of varying functional abilities
Define and develop a sport-specific training program for a master athlete.
Describe specific behavioral changes that are typically associated with the learning of new motor skills.
Incorporate techniques to add fun to group exercise, and use promotional strategies to market your exercise program.
Modify exercises to enhance safe participation and reduce injury among older adults with specific medical conditions.
Understand how to develop a risk management plan to promote a safe exercise environment and respond to emergency situations.
Understand and comply with ethical guidelines for personal trainers and group instructors.
Part I. Overview of Aging and Physical Activity
Chapter 1. The Field of Gerokinesiology
Demographics of Older Adults
Benefits of Physical Activity
Defining Old Age
Gerokinesiology: A New Field of Study
Chapter 2. Predictors of Successful Aging
Biological Theories of Aging
Physical Activity As a Determinant of Successful Aging
Chapter 3. Psychological and Sociocultural Aspects of Physical Activity for Older Adults
Physical Activity, Psychological Well-Being, and Quality of Life
Social Implications of Regular Physical Activity
Promoting Physical Activity
Chapter 4. Physiological Aspects of Aging
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function
Part II. Screening, Assessment, and Goal Setting
Chapter 5. Preexercise and Health Screening
Additional Screening Tools
Implications for Program Design and Management
Chapter 6. Field-Based Physical and Mobility Assessments
Functional Fitness Framework
Considerations for Test Selection and Evaluation
Selected Assessment Tools
Guidelines for Group Testing
Interpreting Test Results
Chapter 7. Laboratory-Based Physiological Assessment of Older Adults
Part III. Core Program Principles and Training Methods
Chapter 9. A New Approach to Designing Exercise Programs for Older Adults
Heterogeneity of Older Adults
Optimizing Physical Function Through Exercise
Exercise Variables and Principles for Program Design
Specific Exercise Principles for Older Adults
Chapter 10. Principles of the Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Physiological Changes Associated with Warm-Up
Physiological Changes Associated with Cool-Down
Guiding Principles of the Warm-Up
Developing the Warm-Up
Developing the Cool-Down
Chapter 11. Flexibility Training
Age-Associated Changes in Flexibility
Types of Stretching Techniques
Incorporating Flexibility Training Into the Exercise Program
Examples of Flexibility Exercises
Chapter 12. Resistance Training
Benefits of Resistance Training
Principles of Resistance Training
Training Components and Variables
Resistance Training for Older Adults
Chapter 13. Aerobic Endurance Training
Benefits of Aerobic Endurance Training for Older Adults
Principles and Considerations for Aerobic Endurance Training
Variables for Aerobic Endurance Training
Types of Aerobic Exercises
Implications for Program Design and Management
Chapter 14. Balance and Mobility Training
Age-Associated Changes in Balance and Mobility
Balance and Mobility Exercises
Manipulating the Challenge in a Group Setting
Part IV. Specialty Programs and Training Methods
Chapter 15. Mind-Body Exercise Training
Mind-Body Exercise Programs
Implications for Program Design and Management
Mindful Exercise Precautions
Yoga and Tai Chi Teacher Training Resources
Chapter 16. Aquatic Training
Benefits of Aquatic Training
Considerations Unique to Aquatic Exercise
Aquatic Training Components
Chapter 17. Training Master Athletes
Master Athletes Defined
Principles of Training
Components of Master Athlete Training Programs
Part V. Program Design, Leadership, and Risk Management
Chapter 18. Applying Motor Learning Principles to Program Design
Nervous System Changes and Motor Skill Learning
Movement Analysis of Skills
Motor Learning Principles for the Physical Activity Instructor
Chapter 19.Teaching and Leadership Skills
Chapter 20. Designing and Managing Group Conditioning Classes
Key Principles of Group Dynamics
Making Group Activity Fun
Chapter 21. Exercise Considerations for Medical Conditions
Neurological and Cognitive Conditions
Chapter 22. Legal Standards, Risk Management, and Professional Ethics
The Law and the Physical Activity Instructor
A Risk Management Plan
Ethical Guidelines for the Physical Activity Instructor
Appendix A. International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults With the Aging and Life Course, World Health Organization Appendix B. Professional Ethics for Personal Fitness Trainers Appendix C. Professional Ethics for Group Fitness Instructors
A continuing education course for those designing or implementing
physical activity programs with older adults, including fitness
specialists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, personal trainers,
activity directors, activity assistants, and therapeutic recreation
C. Jessie Jones, PhD, is a professor in the division of
kinesiology and health promotion, director of the Lifespan Wellness
Clinic, codirector of the Center for Successful Aging, and past director
of gerontology programs at California State University at Fullerton
(CSUF) and University of New Orleans. She has an extensive background in
gerontology, health, and exercise science.
Professor Jones is nationally and internationally known in the field of
exercise science and aging for her research, program design, and
curriculum development. She has received several research grants
exceeding $1 million, and her work has been published in numerous
professional journals and cited in more than 100 popular newspapers and
magazines. Dr. Jones has conducted over 100 professional presentations
at conferences across the United States and abroad. She has coauthored
two books and videos on senior fitness assessment and programming, has
coauthored a balance and mobility training manual and video, and is
editing a textbook to prepare senior fitness specialists.
In addition to her extensive research agenda, Dr. Jones has received
awards for her research, teaching, and community service, including the
Distinguished Faculty Award for the College of Human Development and
Community Service. Dr. Jones is currently investigating the long-term
effectiveness of a community-based balance and mobility training program
in 18 senior centers.
Debra J. Rose, PhD, is a professor in the division of kinesiology
and health science and codirector of the Center for Successful Aging at
California State University at Fullerton. She is also a professor in the
physical therapy department at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Her primary research focus is on the enhancement of mobility and the
prevention of falls in later years.
Dr. Rose is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in
fall risk reduction assessment and programming. Her research in fall
risk reduction in the elderly has been published in numerous
peer-reviewed publication, including the Journal of the American
Geriatric Society, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Neurology Report, and the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.
The innovative fall risk reduction program she developed was recognized
by the National Council on Aging as one of seven meritorious programs
nationwide that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle. Dr. Rose’s entire
program was published in her book FallProof! A Comprehensive Balance
and Mobility Training Program. She is a fellow of the American
Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, former executive board
member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and
Physical Activity, and co-editor in chief of the Journal of Aging and
The innovative fall risk reduction program she developed called
FallProof was recognized by the Health Promotion Institute of the
National Council on Aging in 2006 as a best practice program in health
promotion. The program was published by Human Kinetics and is titled
FallProof! A Comprehensive Balance and Mobility Training Program.
This program is currently being implemented in numerous community-based
settings and retirement communities throughout the United States. She
also currently serves as a member of the national steering committee
developed by the National Council on Aging to guide the implementation
of the FallsFree initiative aimed at preventing falls among older
Debra is also the co-editor (with C. Jessie Jones) of a book titled Physical
Activity Instruction of Older Adults that was published by Human
Kinetics in 2005. This textbook serves as the foundational text for the
recently published International Training Guidelines for the Preparation
of Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults. She is a fellow of the
Research Consortium of AAPHERD and the American Academy of Kinesiology
and Physical Education.
“I am starting a 50+ Fitness Class in a couple months. The
information I found most helpful in this course is the different medical
conditions people may have and how to work with them. Now I will be more
comfortable training older adults, especially utilizing the recommended
readings and websites.”
T. McFadden—Spring Hill, Kansas
“When dealing with many ages in my group fitness classes, I will
utilize the knowledge gained from this course on how to determine a
person’s fitness level and what things to avoid when showing the
J. Hess—Ardmore, Pennsylvania
“This course will help me to work well with older adults and see to
their specific exercise needs.”
T. Palmer—Perris, California
“This course provides great insight and knowledge into the
physiological and physiological needs of older populations.”