WHAT DO OLDER ADULT FITNESS INSTRUCTORS DO?
KHAI OLDER ADULT FITNESS INSTRUCTORS (OAFI) help older adults of all ages and abilities to maintain a quality life as they age. OAFI work in Retirement Communities, Senior Community Centers, Senior Resident Communities, gyms, fitness centers, YMCAs and other recreation organizations, programs and groups of people dedicated to the health and well-being of the aging community. OAFI teach classes like Restorative Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Pilates, Breathing, Meditation and Relaxation, Chair and Zumba exercise, Strength & Flexibility, Fall Prevention, Weight Management, Weight Lifting, Calisthenics and Personal Training, working to help keep our aging population fit and functional.
OAFI generally stand in front of a group and lead the exercise routines based upon a particular format. Classes are generally set to music and based upon the facility and class size the OAFI may use a microphone. OAFI help demonstrate the exercises and keep people motivated during the session. At some facilities, OAFI may have to maintain the roster, and setup a particular facility before and after each class.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
For an OAFI, training and certification is the most important factor. Working with older adults requires sensitivity, awareness and understanding of the broad range of needs and limitations of the older adult beginning exerciser. Many of our older adults have pains and chronic health problems that can be greatly benefitted through exercise. Kujiweza Healing Arts Institute offers a 200 hour hands-on training course to get newly certified OAFI started. Many fitness instructors are already teaching fitness to people of all ages in the community, but may not have the experience of working exclusively with older people with chronic health challenges. Aging people need our help even more than younger populations and fitness instructors need additional training in order to offer safe and effective exercise. The KHAI OAFI Certification course provides training in basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and basic medical terminology and range of exercise formats unique to the health, wellness and fitness needs of older adults. All OAFI will be required to be certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. (CPR)
- Customer Service: OAFI have to sell their services to people and entice them to join their fitness classes.
- Listening Skills: OAFI must listen and appropriately respond to their client’s needs, challenges, concerns and goals.
- Motivational Skills: Getting people to exercise is tough and getting people that have pain and chronic ailments is even tougher. OAFI needs to motivate people to want to make the changes they need to make in order to improve their health and reach their lifestyle goals.
- Physical Fitness: OAFI provide fitness exercise classes to the community for a living. Whether teaching a class or offering personal training sessions it’s very important that an OAFI keep his or her self fit.
- Teaching Skills: OAFI needs to explain why and how to do exercises and always be enthusiastic and positive in words and actions. Know your students and find something to complement them on.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Fitness instructor jobs will grow by 24% between 2010 and 2020,