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New "Welcome Back to Fitness" Website Targets Baby Boomers

Online toolkit from International Council on Active Aging offers age-friendly guidance for the 50+ fitness newcomer or returning exerciser.

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“How can I possibly find time for exercise? Where do I find a gym where I will fit in? What equipment should I buy for my house?”

‘Tis the season of new year’s resolutions, and traditionally “getting more exercise” is on the list. Most Baby Boomers know that physical activity is an important component of health; in fact, 98 percent of 50+ adults are aware that getting enough exercise is important, according to AARP research. Yet, busy days loaded with work, family and household chores can trip up even the most earnest would-be exercisers.

To answer the questions that Baby Boomers-and their parents-have about physical activity, International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has created the “Welcome Back to Fitness” Web site at Especially geared to meet the needs of older adults, the site contains a unique collection of checklists, questions and answers, and guides to age-friendly fitness centers, equipment and trainers.

“Our goal is to make getting more exercise the annual tradition, instead of a resolution that fades away. Over two-thirds (70 percent) of adults ages 50 to 64 years old use the Internet, according to a study this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation,” advises Colin Milner, CEO of ICAA, “and 53 percent of this age group went online to look for health information. By developing the toolkit on the “Welcome Back to Fitness” Web site, we are able to provide a very large package of resources in a medium Baby Boomers use.”

The ICAA “Welcome Back to Fitness” site at can be used by older adults who are thinking about exercise, just getting started or fitness regulars. And it doesn’t matter if they exercise at home or in a gym or seniors center, the toolkit provides resources.

Thinking About Exercise? Find out about the many options for activity in the Health Tips, questions to ask your doctor and how activity will make you feel better and stay healthy.

Just Getting Started? You’ll walk briskly into the new year by choosing the proper footwear, starting with short walks or classes, and following the 30 tips to become more active in 2006. The Age-Friendly Facility checklist is a great tool for evaluating the places where you will feel welcome.

Reliving Your Past? Many older adults enjoyed sports and recreation in their teens and twenties, but were pulled away to spend time with growing families and careers. ICAA’s 30 tips will help you find the time, activities and places to rekindle your interest. Plus, the on-line Age-Friendly Facility Locator allows you to search for a fitness center in your area.

Reinvigorating Your Program? Sometimes a change of pace is all that’s needed to stay interested and active. How about finding an age-friendly personal trainer using the ICAA questionnaire and checklist to customize a program? Use the age-friendly equipment features to identify new equipment to try, and visit the Health tips section for tracking tools and exercise options.

“The ‘Welcome Back to Fitness’ Web site is another program of our Age-Friendly initiatives that enable 50+ adults to make activity a part of their lives. The age-friendly checklists are exclusive to ICAA, designed with leading experts, and you can’t find them anywhere else,” commented Milner. “The comprehensive “Welcome Back to Fitness” Web site puts everything they need in one place.”

The “Welcome Back to Fitness” section on the ICAA Web site joins other age-friendly resources dedicated to the 50+ exerciser. Featured at are special sections on foot care, walking and the complete age-friendly facility program.

About the International Council on Active Aging

The ICAA is the world’s largest membership association dedicated to changing the way we age by uniting and working with professionals in the retirement, assisted living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields. ICAA connects a community of like-minded professionals who share the goals of changing society’s perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for Baby Boomers and older adults within the six dimensions of wellness (emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social). The council supports these professionals with education, information, resources and tools, so they can achieve optimal success with this growing market.