health

Intimidated by 20-something personal trainers? THIS gym is employing PTs over 55 to train you hard

Let's hope others follow suit

Alice Howarth

Sadly, it’s no secret that the gym can be an intimidating place. Gym-bunnies in lycra powering it on the machines and equipment that you have no idea how to use - the reasons can be endless. But, the good news is, one thing you no longer have to feel intimidated by is young, peppy trainers shouting instructions at you. In a move to make fitness centres more approachable to all ages, David Lloyd Clubs has announced that it will have a fitness trainer, aged 55 or over, in every one of its 114 UK-wide clubs by the end of 2022. 

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This commitment follows the recommendations of Public Health England and ukactive, who have found that older people generally feel more self-conscious when working out in public and exercise less often than other age groups. Currently, as many as 14 percent of over-55s don’t exercise at all, while 22 percent consider themselves ‘not very active’.

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Alongside introducing older trainers into clubs, David Lloyd will also train all of the fitness staff to support older members using the health clubs. Staff will be taught how to develop a client’s confidence and motivation, provide them with fitness and nutrition and advice, and create individual training programmes to suit specific needs.

It’s no secret that exercise is vital to good health and that a lack of it often leads to preventable health problems as we grow older. Not only does this place a burden on individuals and their loved ones but on the already struggling NHS too. 

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Sir Muir Gray, former Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS, who leads most of ukactive’s work within the ageing space and who fronted the Reimaging Ageing campaign that inspired David Lloyd Clubs’ commitment, commented: "We can reverse the decline in health so often associated with growing older, and increase ability, by closing the fitness gap: the best possible rate of decline in our health versus the actual decline many of us experience. Increased fitness can achieve this at any age and no matter how many long-term conditions the person has. This is why programmes such as these are so important, and it’s great that David Lloyd Clubs is leading the way."