Trainer Proves It: Age is No Obstacle

WHEN FITNESS INSTRUCTOR Richard Strunk went back to school for professional fitness training, he figured he had a ready-made audience ready for his instruction. He was in his 60s and knew that he might have success helping older adults reach their fitness goals. Now 70, Strunk has many dedicated students who enjoy his classes: Stability Balls, Strength & Flexibility, and Intro to Weight Training.

“There are no bad exercises for older adults,” Strunk said, “just exercises with more risk than others. But most adults in reasonable health can do most of the things they want to do with the right training and practice.”

Strunk points to one of his students to demonstrate the success of careful training. “I have one lady, almost 90 years old, coming to class,” he said. “She needs a walker just to get in here from her car, but still keeps coming and enjoying herself. She can still do things in her yard if she’s careful, she can still have a life.”

Strunk’s classes are often filled with laughter, cajoling and camaraderie. “The neatest thing about these classes is all the people I get to meet and interact with,” he said. “The relationships make me want to come to work because I know I’m going to have a good time with all the people I’m around.”