Once she retired, my baby boomer mom really started getting into fitness (but on her own, not with a baby boomer personal trainer). It's really cute to see her put on her backpack, bike helmet, and ride off into town to go do her exercises at the gym.
It's like a trip back in time to see what she would have been like at 10 years old.
But what if my mom wasn't internally motivated? What if I had to find a baby boomer personal trainer for her?
Would it be best to ask a young beach bunny cardio queen personal trainer to train her, or would she be better off training with someone closer to her age?
Researchers from the University of Texas asked this same question, and put 131 subjects through a 14-week, trainer-lead fitness program. One group of subjects worked with a trainer who was in their peer-group, while the other group worked with student trainers.
Reference J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009 Feb;21(2):116-22. The effectiveness of a peer-mentored older adult fitness program on perceived physical, mental, and social function.
Surprisingly, only the peer-trained group significantly improved physical, mental, and social function at the end of 14 weeks.
So if you are thinking of buying some training sessions for your mom or dad, don't bother with the cardio bunny or young-buck bodybuilder trainer.
Instead, get a peer-group baby boomer personal trainer for your parents if you want more results.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
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