You know the numbers: today, there are more people over the age of 55 than in any other time in human history. The number of adults over the age of 65 in the United States is expected to grow to 87 million by the year 2030 and the population of adults over the age of 85 will increase by almost 400% during that time.
That’s not only a lot of people — it has the potential to be a lot of overweight, unfit people thanks to the equally exploding obesity epidemic in America.
One of the keys to Growing Bolder is developing functional fitness: building the strength, stability and mobility for everyday activities (which can then lead you to bigger training goals like running long-distance races or competing in other sports). Functional fitness can enhance every aspect of your everyday life and help you remain active for decades. The key is to find something you love to do, set smart goals and work with a trainer or coach who can make sure you’re doing it safely and effectively. Do that and you’ll be on the way to making the rest of your life the best of your life.
Growing Bolder CEO Marc Middleton, a competitive masters athlete himself, served as the keynote speaker at the 2016 Functional Aging Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, where hundreds of fitness professionals learned how Growing Bolder is Rebranding Aging™, and watched as Marc revealed the keys to active longevity.
Elana Feldman is a California-based fitness instructor who attended the Summit to learn more about working with her 40+ clients and to pursue a certification as a Functional Aging Specialist. She tells Growing Bolder that her goal is to change lives every day, and that Marc’s presentation came at exactly the right time.
“Marc Middleton — what an incredible inspiration! Marc couldn’t have been more perfect to kick off this fabulous conference, because he empowered me with ideas to be a better fitness professional. His energy and compassion is contagious. Marc shared so many creative examples of how older adults can live their lives to the fullest and still pursue their amazing goals. Age is only a number, and it is not a disease that sets limitations on one’s life. He has inspired me to live everyday to its fullest!”
Marc agrees, calling the experience “a blast.”
“I know we’ll be working together in the future with many of these passionate and highly motivated fitness professionals. They came not only to learn but also to share what’s working for their clients. There was a tremendous spirit of creative collaboration.”
The Functional Aging Institute, host of the Summit, educates and inspires fitness professionals to specialize in working with older adults, and from a business standpoint, the founders say there’s never been more of a need or an opportunity.
Dan Ritchie, PhD, is the Functional Aging Institute’s Co-Founder and President and opened the Functional Aging Summit with a reminder to all attendees that they are in the inspiration business, and that each client has his or her own individual needs.
“We started the Institute to connect with and educate fitness professionals who understand that there’s an explosion in the number of people who are looking for help and a safe start toward getting healthy for the rest of their lives, and who want to make sure that they’re able to fill that role safely and effectively,” he tells Growing Bolder. “Whether that client is a 75-year-old trying to complete a cross-country bike ride, a 50-year-old who is recovering from injury and wants to be able to walk pain-free or a 100-year-old who loves dancing and wants to be able to do it for as long as possible, our certified professionals have the knowledge and expertise that other trainers may not.”
Cody Sipe, PhD, Vice President and Co-Founder of the Functional Aging Institute, tells Growing Bolder that many trainers fail to keep their clients’ specific goals in mind. “Many of the people we see who are in their 50s, 60s and beyond are focused on what being fit and healthy allows them to do, and to do better: play with their grandchildren, travel across the world and enjoy everyday activities without pain. Traditional assessments and workouts just aren’t enough and our goal is to educate and inspire our fitness professionals to not only be better at their jobs, but to help the millions of clients who are looking for the Fountain of Youth to dive in and start reaching their goals.”
Other speakers at the Functional Aging Summit included Lindsay Vastola, NSCA-CPT and founder of Body Project; Sue Grant, a Fellow of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute, and a master instructor for FallProof!, an internationally recognized balance and mobility training program; Dr. Evan Osar, an internationally recognized lecturer, author, and expert on assessment, corrective exercise, and integrative movement and J.R. Burgess, CEO of Rejuv Medical and MedFit, working to change the direction of the current healthcare crisis.
Attendees also had the opportunity to attend a certification workshop to become certified as Functional Aging Specialists through the Functional Aging Institute.
The truth is, we have all been brainwashed about aging. Everything from media reports to flawed research studies, mandatory retirement ages, doctors prescribing unnecessary medicines, over the hill jokes, Hollywood portrayals, Madison Avenue commercials and more have all negatively affected the way we age. We’ve been brainwashed by our families, our friends and even ourselves.
But you have the power to get off the couch and get into life. Small steps add up to big changes. Believe in yourself and start Growing Bolder!
FUNCTIONAL AGING WORKOUT
Growing Bolder has teamed up with the Functional Aging Institute to create a workout that you can do at home, and will help you with dynamic balance, muscle power, agility, core stability and whole body strength and endurance. So whatever your fitness goals are, this could be your start! Head to growingbolder.com/functionalaging for the workout, as well as information on finding a certified Functional Aging Specialist in your area.
The Functional Aging Institute was founded in 2013 by leading functional aging experts Dan Ritchie, PhD and Cody Sipe, PhD. For over 15 years, Dan and Cody have been at the forefront of developing innovative, effective and science-based training programs for their older clients. Over the past 8 years they have shared their unique philosophies, techniques and insights with tens of thousands of trainers around the world. During that time they reviewed almost every “senior fitness” certification program on the market and could not find any that met their high standards. They decided then and there to create high quality certifications that would help fitness professionals to be more successful with the fastest-growing client base in the world…adults 55 and over. A team of highly-acclaimed experts is being assembled to develop content and help reach FAI’s goal of 10,000 certified fitness professionals in 5 years.