Creating A Safe And Effective Exercise Program: An Overview Of Aging

*This course has been pre-approved by NCTRC for 5 clock hours.

This course is part of a 2 part program for designing an exercise program for the elderly. This course can also be used as a stand-alone course for anyone who would like to learn more about the aging process. This course provides information on several theories of aging, the five functional aging categories, chronic illness of the elderly, statistics from several leading agencies such as the CDC and WHO, and discusses the benefits of exercise for the elderly.


  • Learn the definition of aging

  • Understand the various theories of aging such as genetic theory, damage theory and gradual imbalance theory

  • Identify the five functional categories of aging to better understand fitness levels in the elderly and be aware of what frailty means

  • Become aware of the top ten chronic illnesses in the elderly

  • Know useful statistics about aging

  • Understand at least 5 benefits of how exercise can be beneficial in the frail elderly

  • Be aware of the research done on exercise for the elderly and read papers written

  • Understand the psychological and physical importance of physical activity for the elderly

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT

Instructor Bio:

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for over 30 years. She received her BS at the University of Northern Colorado and completed her internship at a day program for the disabled in Nottinghamshire, England where she resided with an English family for three months. She has worked in various settings including community recreation and special needs, psychiatry, physical rehabilitation and Alzheimer's units. Her favorite population is the elderly. She observing that older people, however physically frail, benefitted from and enjoyed moving their bodies to music. She observed that music and movement improved mood and socialization. She also observed that many elderly reported on the initial assessment that they had been sedentary and typically had not participated in any exercise for many years, stating, "I am too old for that". Jo Anne had decided to obtain her personal training certification so she could work with elderly people in the community with the hopes of lowering the chances of premature hospitalization. She began her personal training career while still employed as a CTRS in an addiction/mental health unit. She continues to provide gentle movement groups for the patients on the unit on a PRN basis and observed that gentle movement/correct breathing and relaxation had benefitted the younger patients as well. Because the statistics report one-third of seniors over 65 years of age experience falls, she is currently offering personal training services as well as balance classes at the local senior center. She believes that educating the elderly on the importance of starting and maintaining safe and effective (not to mention fun) exercises to their day will help keep clients living a meaningful and healthy lifestyle. She also hopes that the information she is sharing with other CTRS's will motivate them to include a gentle and safe exercise/movement class in their facilities.

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT

SMART Instructor