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ed2go Health and Fitness Fitness Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults
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Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults

If you're interested in developing safe and effective exercise programs for older adults, this Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults Online course is for you! This course incorporates standards from the International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults, in collaboration with and endorsed by the World Health Organization.

This course is suited for people who are interested in a career working with seniors and older adults in the health and fitness industry, for established fitness professionals who want advanced education in working with older adults, and for allied health and medical professionals from all fields who want to design specialized exercise and wellness programs for their older adult clients and patients. If you're an exercise enthusiast over 50, this course will also help you develop a personalized program to meet your own goals.

The course is offered in partnership with the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA), and Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program. After course completion, you will receive a complimentary one-year membership to the ICAA, which includes registration discounts for the annual International Active Aging Conference. In addition, you will receive preferred discounts for the SFA's certification exams (Senior Personal Trainer Certification or the Senior Fitness Instructor Certification), the AEA's certification exam (Aquatic Exercise Association Fitness Professional Certification), and for Healthways Instructor Accreditation for Older Adult Exercise. You can also choose to participate in an Optional Field Internship Program to get practical experience in the profession. Internships are six weeks, 60 hours long. Graduating students will be prepared for a career working with older adults at senior centers, medically-based fitness facilities, retirement communities, YMCAs, JCCs, hospitals, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, corporate fitness centers, collegiate settings, and private and commercial health clubs.

The American College of Sports Medicine's Professional Education Committee certifies that "Educational Fitness Solutions" meets the criteria for official ACSM Approved Provider status from 2019 – December 2022. Providership # 672784.

Continuing Education Credits/Units

This course may qualify for CECs/CEUs for the following organizations. Please contact the course provider to obtain the latest information.

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • American Senior Fitness Association (SFA)
  • Health and Fitness Professionals Association (HFPA)
  • The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • The National Strength Professional Association (NSPA)
  • National Posture Institute (NPI)
6 Months / 200 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults

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Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES116

What You Will Learn
  • Be prepared to work as a fitness trainer, manager or owner in the older adult market
  • Identify and define predictors of successful aging and characteristics that relate to individual participation in physical activity programs
  • Be able to design exercise programs for preventive health
  • Understand how factors have converged to make the 50+ market extremely desirable for the fitness industry
  • Know how to conduct an in-depth health history interview
  • Be able to identify medication-related interactions during physical activity and know when to refer clients to a health professional
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 200 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Prepare to work with seniors and older adults within the health and fitness industry
  • Choose to take on an additional internship program that will give you hands-on experience in the field
  • Receive a complimentary one-year membership to the ICAA, which includes registration discounts for the annual International Active Aging Conference
  • Receive preferred discounts for the SFA's certification exams (Senior Personal Trainer Certification or the Senior Fitness Instructor Certification), the AEA's certification exam (Aquatic Exercise Association Fitness Professional Certification), and for Healthways Instructor Accreditation for Older Adult Exercise


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Aspects of Aging

Receive a brief introduction to the course by learning about the psychosocial aspects of aging. Understand the effects aging can have on the body and mind, as well as the association between aging, activity, and disease.

Bodily Systems

Learn about the bodily systems, including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and the metabolic changes that accompany aging. You'll also cover the nervous and cognitive systems before learning about the sensory changes that are associated with aging.

Designing Exercise Programs for Older Adults

Understand the principles of cardiovascular and resistance exercise and flexibility. Explore the fundamentals of functional exercise, balance, mobility, and water training. With this knowledge, you'll learn how to design exercise programs for healthy older adults, as well as learn best practices for exercise recommendations for those with chronic diseases and conditions.

Business Management and Administration for the Mature Market

Dive into business opportunities in the mature market, including best marketing and customer service principles. Learn about business development through member programs and services, as well as how to administer and manage age-friendly fitness facilities.

Exercise and Aging for Special Populations

Understand how to screen and provide health assessments to special populations. Learn how to work with those suffering from chronic diseases and how to adjust exercise programs accordingly.

Optional Field Internship in Senior Personal Training

Intern for a total of six weeks (60 hours) and gain practical experience working with members at fitness facilities and health centers. This section of the course is optional.

  1. Socio-Physiological Aspects of Aging
    1. Psychosocial Aspects of Aging
    2. Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular, and Metabolic Changes that Accompany Aging
    3. Nervous System, Cognitive, and Sensory Changes that Accompany Aging
    4. The Association Between Aging, Activity, and Disease
  2. Designing Older Adult Exercise Programs
    1. Exercise Recommendations and Guidelines for Apparently Healthy Older Adults and Those With Chronic Diseases and Conditions
    2. Principles of Cardiovascular and Resistance Exercise and Flexibility
    3. Principles of Functional Exercise, Balance, Mobility, and Water Training
    4. How to Design Exercise Programs for Apparently Healthy Older Adults
  3. Business Management and Administration for the Mature Market
    1. Business Opportunities in the Mature Market
    2. Marketing and Customer Service Principles
    3. Business Development Through Member Programs and Services
    4. How to Administer and Manage Age-Friendly Fitness Facilities or Wellness Centers
  4. Exercise and Aging for Special Populations
    1. Screening, Health Assessments, and Fitness Testing
    2. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Chronic Disease Considerations for Exercise Program Design
    3. Musculoskeletal and Neurological Chronic Disease Considerations for Exercise Program Design
    4. Common Medications for Chronic Disease Conditions
  5. Elective Program: Optional Field Internship in Senior Personal Training
    1. Intern for a total of six weeks/60 hours for a practical experience working with members at fitness facilities and health centers
    2. Network and interact with professionals in the health and fitness industry
    3. Develop a professional goal statement and review career opportunities
    4. Improve your ability to obtain employment or operate your own health and fitness facility
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Instructors & Support

Natalie Johnson, MS

Natalie Johnson, MS, has worked in an academic setting throughout her career. Natalie taught for the Kinesiology Department at San Diego State University in addition to being the Fitness & Operations Director at the Aztec Recreation Center. While instructing for the Kinesiology Department, she also was a "Student Mentor". As a mentor Natalie advised senior Kinesiology students on resume writing, interviewing skills and assisted students in finding the most appropriate job based on experience, education and location. Natalie's experience outside of academia includes working in world renowned resorts in California, Mexico and Jamaica (The Golden Door & Rancho La Puerta) in addition to being the owner of a fitness company called "Fit Chicks" since 2001. Natalie is certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Sports Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. She presents annually for the Medical Fitness Association, Athletic Business and the National Health Benefits Conference. Natalie was a Body by Jake Master Trainer and presenter on FitTV and continues to promote fitness locally in Tampa, Florida and nationally in publications and television. Natalie is currently the "Manager of Health & Lifestyle Programs" for a Medical Health Plan in Florida. She oversees the Fitness Center and its staff as well as all preventative programs relating to weight loss, fitness, exercise and nutrition. She works closely with a medical management team and is very active in promoting exercise as medicine and prevention. Natalie is also the Regional Director for the Medical Fitness Association and works closely with the organization to integrate fitness into the medical community.




Basic computer skills are required.

You need to receive CPR certification and approval by the program coordinator prior to beginning the Optional Field Internship Program.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
  • A disk CD / DVD drive is optional.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: OS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults


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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Does this course prepare for a certification?

Yes. Upon completion you will be prepared for the Senior Fitness Association (SFA) certification exams Senior Personal Trainer Certification or the Senior Fitness Instructor Certification.

When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

What must I do to graduate with the Certificate in Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults?

Complete and receive a passing grade (of C- or above) in all programs.

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About Certification

American Senior Fitness Association (SFA)

The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) has been a leader in the field of older adult health and fitness since 1992. The SFA is at the forefront of ensuring professionals in the industry are properly trained and educated. It provides educational materials, publications, and programs to distribute the latest information, as well as certifications and credentials through which you can prove your knowledge and skills. Prepare to become a certified senior exercise professional with an SFA-certified course.