Try a Kinder, Gentler Workout

Aging Baby Boomers Fuel Hottest Exercise Trend

By Charlene Laino
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

June Golden's workout resume reads like a fitness history for our times.

Dance lessons from a series of instructors who subscribed to the "no pain, no gain" mantra were a rite of passage. Then came high-impact aerobics classes, where she jumped, shimmied, and rock-and-rolled. After a timeout for childbirth, it was on to step aerobics and kickboxing. And of course, there were a few months off here and there for knee injuries, torn ligaments, sprained ankles, and the like.

Then, as she approached her 60th birthday, Golden says, she finally found fitness nirvana -- with yoga and Pilates, a kinder, gentler workout that incorporates fluidity, grace, and focus. It's a routine that she says helps boost the health of both body and mind through breathing, stretching, and core strengthening.

"For years, I knew something was missing," says the New York communications consultant. "But as soon as I started this program, I knew instinctively that it is what I was searching for all these years."

Women like Golden are fueling the hottest exercise trend: a shift to routines that pose less stress to our bodies, says Harvey Lauer, who, as founder and president of American Sports Data Inc. (ASD), has tracked exercise trends for the past two decades.

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