EnhanceFitness Helps Older Adults Sustain Active, Healthy Lifestyles

With nearly 50 million Americans currently over the age of 65, and with that number projected to reach 83 million by 2050, there is a rapidly growing need for education to help fitness professionals safely and effectively serve older adults in physical activity. To meet this need, the American Council on Exercise (ACE)—a nonprofit organization that educates, certifies, and represents fitness professionals, health coaches, and other allied health professionals—teamed up with Enhance®Fitness, a licensed program of Senior Services in Seattle-King County, to provide its instructors with foundational knowledge to lead older adults in safe and effective group exercise classes, helping them live active and healthier lifestyles longer.

Recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a top-tier evidence-based program, EnhanceFitness has served more than 50,000 older adults across 31 states. EnhanceFitness has proven to significantly increase physical function, decrease depression and improve social interaction in older adults and focuses on cardiovascular exercise, strength training, balance, and flexibility. EnhanceFitness partnered with ACE to ensure its instructors had access to high-quality education that would provide them with a deeper understanding of how to lead exercise programs for older adults safely and effectively, and incorporate appropriate modifications and techniques to increase their longevity and boost quality of life as they age.

"Our partnership with Senior Services' EnhanceFitness program strengthens our efforts in supporting older adults to live their most fit lives longer," said ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. "By teaming up with EnhanceFitness, we offer their instructors the educational tools necessary for them to understand the unique health and fitness needs of older adults, while delivering exercise programs that decrease their risks of developing chronic diseases, and help them stay strong, energized and empowered to sustain active lifestyles."

The ACE education program is a five-part course designed to complement the educational foundation of EnhanceFitness instructors by addressing common chronic health issues faced by older adults, such as musculoskeletal challenges, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Courses within the program include:

  • The Essentials of Group Exercise Leadership, Movement Science, and Participant Safety
  • Common Health Challenges Faced by Older Adults
  • Chronic Musculoskeletal Challenges and Exercise
  • The Fitness Professional's Guide to Training Clients with Osteoarthritis
  • Exercise and Osteoporosis

"We are proud to collaborate with ACE, a trusted authority on fitness and wellness that places a strong emphasis on safe and effective physical activity—something that EnhanceFitness takes very seriously," said Paula Houston, CEO of Senior Services. "With access to ACE's education program, EnhanceFitness instructors can gain an understanding of how to connect with older adults and the knowledge needed to deliver appropriate exercise programs that combat the effects of age-specific health challenges faced by the thousands of older adults they work with nationwide."

For more information about EnhanceFitness, visit projectenhance.org/EnhanceFitness.aspx.