Anne Fisher had just passed one of those decade age milestones we all take note of when she made what she hopes will be an important decision to improve her health.
Fisher of Yarmouth had turned 60. It was time to do something to improve her health, she decided. Three months ago, she made her move, and began working with a certified personal trainer at the Casco Bay Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine in Freeport.
“I do think turning 60 was a pivotal moment,” Fisher said recently, following one of her workouts under the guidance of Wayne Clark, at 67 a fellow baby boomer. “I decided it was now or never. I saw my parents decline. I want to delay that.”
Fisher had been going to the YMCA in Freeport, but felt she needed to take the next step with a personal trainer. Now, she works out for 41?2 hours a week with Clark, and twice weekly she comes to the Y and exercises on her own.
“He’s a tough task master, but he’s kind,” Fisher said of her trainer.
Exercise programs for baby boomers are becoming a hot trend nationally, as the generation ushers in the retirement years by keeping physically active and fit. As one local example, the Casco Bay Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine will begin a seven-week “Core Training for Boomers and Seniors” on Jan. 6, for people 50 and older.
Clark said that most of his clients are baby boomers. Typically, he said, people that age are concerned with muscle tone, flexibility and balance.
“Many boomers feel more comfortable working with a trainer who is not young,” Clark said. “The key is fitting all of (the exercises) into an hour, plus 30 minutes into a cardiovascular cross-training workout.
Fisher is one of those people who is more comfortable training with a boomer. She has 26 exercises that she does in all – not all of them in the same day – plus the cardio workout. Clark is at the Y in Freeport 15-20 hours a week.
“I think he certainly can relate more to the issues of aging,” she said. “I’ve really made a commitment to do this. I’m getting older, and I want to be healthier. It’s good to have goals. I feel great afterward. I’m doing Weight Watchers, too, so I have goals there. I’m adopting a new, healthier lifestyle.”
Fisher said she is feeling the benefits of her new regimen. She has noticed an increase all three areas of concern that Clark mentioned – stamina, balance and strength.
“She has increased in strength and repetition with the 26 exercises, plus the cardio,” Clark said.
As for Clark, he’s been a trainer for years, but just earned his certificate as a personal trainer three years ago. The Cumberland resident retired at the end of August from his position as director of the Unitarian Universalist Association – a job he did from his home office.
“This is my encore career, and I absolutely love it,” Clark said.