There is no shortage of information — and opinions — when it comes to how to live a healthy lifestyle. The abundance of findings and options can be a challenge for many to decipher or wade through, especially considering everyone’s bodies have different needs.
This can become even more difficult as we age and experience changes and evolving needs. From the natural effects of aging and health conditions to personal goals and motivation, no one’s routine looks quite the same. And sometimes, it helps to have an expert who specializes in your specific needs to cut through the noise and develop the right plan for you.
“As our bodies age, we need more support related to coordination, balance, and mobility,” says Jason Stella, CPT, PES, CES, national education manager for Life Time Training. “To help our members best address these essential areas, we created a new certification for Life Time personal trainers so they can specialize in working with members of our ARORA mature adult community.” (Learn more about ARORA: “Discover ARORA”)
“The goal of this new training certification is to help those with aging bodies feel more comfortable working with our personal trainers and confident that our experts specialize in improving movement for everyday activities with a focus on overall well-being for years to come,” Stella adds.
We talked with Stella, who was part of the team that developed the ARORA training certification, to answer some of our questions about it and its benefits.
Life Time Editorial | What is the ARORA training certification?
Jason Stella | We developed the ARORA training certification to ensure the health and fitness professionals at Life Time have the proper knowledge and skills to work with the healthy-aging population.
It is something that our personal trainers have the option to become certified in, with a large and continuously growing number of them choosing to do so. The certification is an educational process where our professionals gain the expertise needed to specialize in personal training for those ages 55 and up. This education focuses on what we call “The Fundamental Four,” which includes:
- Professional conduct and expectations
- Healthy-aging goals and considerations
- Effective assessment and program design
- Coaching and communication
We are also teaming up with other national education companies for ongoing growth once a trainer is certified. These organizations have physical therapists as well as top educators and researchers specializing in mature adults, which will allow our fitness professionals to stay up to date on cutting-edge information that will help our ARORA community members stay healthy, happy, and fit.
LTE | What are the requirements for an ARORA-certified trainer?
JS | We want to make sure our trainers are educated and prepared, so there are a few requirements and steps for certification. Many of our fitness professionals exceed these obligations, having 10 to 15 years of experience and having spent hours on advanced education to support our ARORA community. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Four years of experience as a certified personal trainer
- A corrective exercise specialization and experience applying it with clients who are age 55 and older
- Successful completion of Life Time’s five-hour ARORA-training certification course
- Participation in ongoing continuing education and updates throughout the year specific to the needs of our ARORA community
LTE| What differentiates this certification and the type of training it leads to?
JS | The education for this certification focuses on understanding how to work with and address concerns related to aging, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hip and knee replacements and other surgeries, shoulder and back pain, and more. We also focus on how certain medications frequently prescribed to this age group can impact activity levels and fitness.
In addition to having knowledge in these concern-specific areas, ARORA-certified trainers have learned how to design programming that works best for mature bodies, including the critical inclusion of efforts to improve balance, mobility, and functional strength.
No matter their age, we want our members to feel like their trainer understands their body’s needs. Many members have asked for a fitness professional who has experience with mature bodies. Our ARORA-certified trainers have extensive knowledge in common injuries, surgeries, medications, and other factors that can come with age — all to help customize the personal-training experience.
LTE | Why is staying active and maintaining fitness beneficial for healthy aging?
JS | Movement is essential to health, and loss of muscle mass accelerates as we age. But with proper strength training and form, we can mitigate that loss, which leads to significant health benefits. Exercise improves your health at any age, keeping bones, muscles, and joints functioning, as well as supporting your immune system and microbiome.
It doesn’t have to be about running races or getting ripped. Regular movement can quite simply enhance your quality of life and make it easier to do the things you love, from playing with your grandkids and gardening to traveling to your bucket-list destinations.
LTE | Do all Life Time personal trainers have the option to become ARORA-certified?
JS | Yes, we want to make sure all our fitness and training professionals are educated and prepared to serve our ARORA community.
LTE | How will Life Time members know if their trainer is ARORA-certified?
JS | The certification will be listed as a specialty under the trainer’s name when you are scheduling online or in the Life Time Digital app. You can also sign up for ARORA-specific introductory training sessions and workshops led by certified trainers. (Visit the ARORA page to learn more about training at your club.)
Not a Life Time member? Click here to learn more about ARORA and membership options.