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Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Opinion: Challenging ageism

The over-70s were treated as one homogenous group during the lockdown and advised to shield. Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging says this is leading to an increase in ageism that the industry must fight to overcome

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5
Ernestine Shepherd – born in 1936 – is a PT and bodybuilder / Washington Post/GETTY
Ernestine Shepherd – born in 1936 – is a PT and bodybuilder / Washington Post/GETTY
The fitness & leisure industries should seek out ways to become advocates for the health and wellbeing of older adults

Is the pandemic increasing issues around ageism? If so, what can be done to prevent this?
Yes – what we see is all older adults being viewed as being most at risk. Why? Because of their age!

Ageism has been shown to reduce the ability of older people to gain employment, get medical treatment, or find products that meet their needs. This ambivalence towards this demographic comes with a price – lower quality of life. COVID-19 has taken this to new heights.

Headlines highlight the issue. In April the Guardian brought this home with an article entitled ‘Favouring young over old in COVID-19 treatment is justifiable, says ethicist.’

Not long after this article, the American Geriatric Society came out with a position statement that highlighted ‘Age should never be used as a means for categorically excluding someone from what is ordinarily the standard of care, nor should age ‘cut-offs’ be used in allocation strategies.’

This is just one example of how ageism is rearing its ugly head during the pandemic.

There’s a danger over 70s will be encouraged to stay at home, impacting on their fitness and mental health. How can the activity sector enable older people to exercise safely?
The simple answer is, understand the facts and not the fear and guard against putting all older people into the category of ‘vulnerable’.

The facts: most older adults impacted by COVID-19 live in care communities and some have a compromised immune system. These individuals are not typical members of gyms. They are only five per cent of this cohort and when you remove them from the equation, the death rate from COVID-19 is the same for all age groups over 44.

The facts: As we age, our immune system diminishes. However, our lifestyle has a significant impact on this. If you’re young but also inactive, you smoke, drink alcohol, have poor sleeping habits, are stressed, eat a poor diet, have health issues, don’t exercise, and use drugs, your immune system will be more compromised than someone older and healthy.

How should the fitness industry respond?
The fitness and leisure industries should learn from the above. They should seek out ways to become advocates for the health and wellbeing of older adults.

Where people are genuinely vulnerable, we must ask what can be done by operators of gyms and fitness centres to enable them to exercise at home and still have social contact.

We’ve seen a massive uptick in online classes that range from exercise to cooking. This is an incredible opportunity to provide your services and more to those who are at risk. Hire specialists to offer fitness classes online to serve the interests of those in need.

As social isolation is such a key factor, you may seek to do this for small groups of the truly vulnerable to build their health and social network.

What other advice do you have for the fitness industry at this time?
Focus on capabilities, health, attitude, positive social connections and families, not age.

Older adults, who possess over 70 per cent of the disposable income in the UK, are starting to reach back into their wallets to find ways to reconnect and get fit again after being addicted to TV, food, alcohol, sweets and inactivity, during the lockdown.

Their strength, cardio capacity, balance, power, muscle mass and mental and emotional health has – as for many of the rest of us – been impacted. They want to regain control over their lives.

You as a facility owner or staff member can play a key role in this. As you can also play a key role in helping them maintain, build, or re-build their immune system, so do not take your responsibility lightly.

Do you have evidence of age-related issues arising in relation to wellbeing in the over 70s?
Most of the age-related issues we talk about are really lifestyle issues.

When someone is unable to achieve a physically active, engaged lifestyle filled with social connections this comes with a cost. An example of this can be found in a research paper published in The Lancet on 19 March 2020, entitled COVID-19 and the consequences of isolating the elderly (read more: http://lei.sr/x7d2T), which said: “Self-isolation will disproportionately affect elderly individuals whose only social contact is out of the home... [They] could be placed at additional risk, along with those who are already lonely, isolated, or secluded.”

My fear is for the mental health of people moving forward. The fitness industry can play a vital role in creating a better future for older people.

ICAA’s Colin Milner: “Do not take your responsibilities lightly”
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/190703_887236.jpg
The over-70s were treated as one homogenous group during the lockdown and advised to shield. Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, says this is leading to an increase in ageism...
Colin Milner, International Council on Active Aging,ageism, older adults, fitness
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Online,
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features

Opinion: Challenging ageism

The over-70s were treated as one homogenous group during the lockdown and advised to shield. Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging says this is leading to an increase in ageism that the industry must fight to overcome

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5
Ernestine Shepherd – born in 1936 – is a PT and bodybuilder / Washington Post/GETTY
Ernestine Shepherd – born in 1936 – is a PT and bodybuilder / Washington Post/GETTY
The fitness & leisure industries should seek out ways to become advocates for the health and wellbeing of older adults

Is the pandemic increasing issues around ageism? If so, what can be done to prevent this?
Yes – what we see is all older adults being viewed as being most at risk. Why? Because of their age!

Ageism has been shown to reduce the ability of older people to gain employment, get medical treatment, or find products that meet their needs. This ambivalence towards this demographic comes with a price – lower quality of life. COVID-19 has taken this to new heights.

Headlines highlight the issue. In April the Guardian brought this home with an article entitled ‘Favouring young over old in COVID-19 treatment is justifiable, says ethicist.’

Not long after this article, the American Geriatric Society came out with a position statement that highlighted ‘Age should never be used as a means for categorically excluding someone from what is ordinarily the standard of care, nor should age ‘cut-offs’ be used in allocation strategies.’

This is just one example of how ageism is rearing its ugly head during the pandemic.

There’s a danger over 70s will be encouraged to stay at home, impacting on their fitness and mental health. How can the activity sector enable older people to exercise safely?
The simple answer is, understand the facts and not the fear and guard against putting all older people into the category of ‘vulnerable’.

The facts: most older adults impacted by COVID-19 live in care communities and some have a compromised immune system. These individuals are not typical members of gyms. They are only five per cent of this cohort and when you remove them from the equation, the death rate from COVID-19 is the same for all age groups over 44.

The facts: As we age, our immune system diminishes. However, our lifestyle has a significant impact on this. If you’re young but also inactive, you smoke, drink alcohol, have poor sleeping habits, are stressed, eat a poor diet, have health issues, don’t exercise, and use drugs, your immune system will be more compromised than someone older and healthy.

How should the fitness industry respond?
The fitness and leisure industries should learn from the above. They should seek out ways to become advocates for the health and wellbeing of older adults.

Where people are genuinely vulnerable, we must ask what can be done by operators of gyms and fitness centres to enable them to exercise at home and still have social contact.

We’ve seen a massive uptick in online classes that range from exercise to cooking. This is an incredible opportunity to provide your services and more to those who are at risk. Hire specialists to offer fitness classes online to serve the interests of those in need.

As social isolation is such a key factor, you may seek to do this for small groups of the truly vulnerable to build their health and social network.

What other advice do you have for the fitness industry at this time?
Focus on capabilities, health, attitude, positive social connections and families, not age.

Older adults, who possess over 70 per cent of the disposable income in the UK, are starting to reach back into their wallets to find ways to reconnect and get fit again after being addicted to TV, food, alcohol, sweets and inactivity, during the lockdown.

Their strength, cardio capacity, balance, power, muscle mass and mental and emotional health has – as for many of the rest of us – been impacted. They want to regain control over their lives.

You as a facility owner or staff member can play a key role in this. As you can also play a key role in helping them maintain, build, or re-build their immune system, so do not take your responsibility lightly.

Do you have evidence of age-related issues arising in relation to wellbeing in the over 70s?
Most of the age-related issues we talk about are really lifestyle issues.

When someone is unable to achieve a physically active, engaged lifestyle filled with social connections this comes with a cost. An example of this can be found in a research paper published in The Lancet on 19 March 2020, entitled COVID-19 and the consequences of isolating the elderly (read more: http://lei.sr/x7d2T), which said: “Self-isolation will disproportionately affect elderly individuals whose only social contact is out of the home... [They] could be placed at additional risk, along with those who are already lonely, isolated, or secluded.”

My fear is for the mental health of people moving forward. The fitness industry can play a vital role in creating a better future for older people.

ICAA’s Colin Milner: “Do not take your responsibilities lightly”
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/190703_887236.jpg
The over-70s were treated as one homogenous group during the lockdown and advised to shield. Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, says this is leading to an increase in ageism...
Colin Milner, International Council on Active Aging,ageism, older adults, fitness
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
Latest News
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first ...
Latest News
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled again and will now take ...
Latest News
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will ...
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Featured supplier news: miha bodytec EMS-PT: an irresistible way to boost your in-club offer
Post pandemic, technology continues to shape the way consumers access fitness. Apps and wearables are helping people reach their goals while digital offerings – which grew exponentially during lockdowns – continue to thrive.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Changing concept
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
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Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Spa software
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Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
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Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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