Try a Kinder, Gentler Workout
Aging Baby Boomers Fuel Hottest Exercise Trend
By Charlene Laino
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.
The ASD's latest survey of 15,000 adults shows that at a time when gym membership in the 55-plus crowd has ballooned -- especially among women -- joint-jarring activities like aerobics and kickboxing are giving way to gentler pursuits such as:
Aging Boomers Drive Exercise Trend