Seniors today are well aware that the key to a long and healthy life is good nutrition and an active lifestyle.
The majority of seniors have been active throughout their lives, so they aren’t newcomers to the gym, the golf course, or the tennis court. Older women in particular have worked hard, trying to squeeze in some form of exercise, be it aerobics, step classes, strength training or power walking while juggling careers and raising families. Stress-relievers such as yoga and Pilates are already well-known to the 50+ woman, as these activities have helped them find balance in their busy lives.
It’s natural that seniors would want to continue to be active into retirement and beyond. And, with fewer demands on their time, many are able to put more attention on their health and wellness as well as explore new types of fitness activities and programs. Add to this the desire and opportunities for fitness-centred holidays and for physical pampering, such as massage and esthetic treatments, as well as anti-aging treatments and this creates a huge opportunity for businesses in the world of health and wellness. This includes the fields of physical fitness, travel, spa services, nutritional supplements, cosmetics and much more. The number of seniors will skyrocket in the next five to ten years and if your business is to take advantage of this, now is the time to appeal to and attract this demographic.
So, how do you appeal to this demographic? Seniors, like everyone else, look for a visual image that they can relate to. They need to see themselves in the picture, as someone who is strong, fit and energetic. If the image that a senior sees is of a twenty-something, they will feel that they can’t compete and will quickly lose interest in the advertised product or service.
Feature an image of an attractive and fit senior who’s pursuing the exercise of his/her choice. This creates a role model that seniors can identify and connect with. It enables them to put themselves in the picture and imagine that it could be them looking out. This sets the stage for a positive attitude and a willingness to try something new. Use the fact that today’s seniors often look, feel and act ten to fifteen years younger than their age and play up the idea of turning back the clock with a healthy lifestyle.
Use education as a promotional tool. Provide information to the senior who wants to begin a new exercise or program and let them know how it will benefit them and enhance their life and that it’s within their reach. Tell them what to look forward to as a result of using your product or service and focus on the overall enhancement of their life through its use.
Whenever possible, use testimonials and feedback from actual seniors delighted with their progress and accomplishments, similar to that of before and after stories of weight loss. Seniors want to hear how your product or service has enhanced and changed the lives of other people who are just like themselves. They want to hear success stories - for example, how exercise lowered blood pressure, how strength training enabled other seniors to do more, how medication was reduced, how endurance was increased. This gives the feeling that “if they can do it, I can do it,” and encourages a desire to join others in the process.
In the years to come, there will be an even greater emphasis on slowing the effects of aging through movement, exercise, and nutrition, and seniors will increasingly pursue and embrace these opportunities. Present your product or service in such a way that seniors will find you and understand what you can do for them, and be ready to reap the benefits of this trend.
Fitness Industry Stats
- 55+ is the fastest growing demographic for health club memberships.
- 95% of organizations reaching older adults found that a fitness/wellness center or physical activity program attracts new housing residents or club members.
- 88% of adults 44-56 years believe they will be happier in retirement if they remain physically active.
- More older adults, from the senior Olympian to the non-exerciser with a hip replacement, are seeking personal trainers.
- Boomers understand the value of physical activity and are seeking residential communities, programs and facilities to find it. (The first baby boomer turned 65 in January 2011)
- Baby boomer women intend to remain active and tend to be more attracted to group classes as they are seeking a "communal experience" with each other. This is why circuit training facilities have been very popular with women. (Women make up about 60% of the Senior Living readership)
- An increasing number of aging women are seeking weight training programs as it has youth enhancing and body transforming effects and aids in age-related problems (osteoporosis, muscle loss, joint disease, decreased coordination and hunched posture).
- The shift toward older tourists in the hiking and backpacking market has big revenue implications for tourism operators
- The Wii has rocked senior centers and senior buyers have skyrocketed video game sales, creating a hook for fitness classes and sports-oriented competitions.
Vitamin and Nutritional Supplement Industry Statistics
- Looking for diet, exercise and supplement solutions that can keep them dancing to life, and out of the doctors offices
- Arthritis affects approximately 40 million Americans with majority being 45+
- Looking for supplements to aid in prevention of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, prostate complications, and Osteoporosis
- Big gains are expected in products for memory improvement, vision care and prostate care
- Specialist eye care supplement makers such as Bausch and Lomb, and mainstream multivitamin manufacturers like Wyeth Healthcare are now making a point of including lutein in the formulas to prevent the onset of the progressive eye disease age related macular degeneration
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