Cover image for Exercise for frail elders
Exercise for frail elders
Best-Martini, Elizabeth, 1948-
Publication Information:
Champaign, Ill. : Human Kinetics, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 228 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC953.8.E93 B377 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Today's fitness leader not only needs training in leading a comprehensive exercise program but also needs an understanding of the limitations and special needs of those with illness, disability, chronic disorders, or a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise for Frail Elders assists you in designing an exercise program as part of either a general recreation, wellness, restorative, or rehabilitation program. It is a practical reference for those instructors working with seniors, the frail elderly, and other special adult populations.

This training guide will give program directors, administrators, and fitness leaders the tools they need to help frail elders and adults with special needs maintain or improve their level of functional fitness. Most older adults have special needs, and this guide will equip leaders to teach exercise to all older adults. Exercise for Frail Elders offers assistance with the inherent challenges in when working with older adults. At the same time, the text shows leaders how to promote a sense of fun and social connectedness in an exercise program.

In the text, exercise programs begin with seated exercises and progress through standing exercises. They are presented in a linear progression that mirrors the setup of a comprehensive exercise class:

-Warm-up exercises for enhancing range of motion, stretching, posture, and breathing exercises

-Aerobic training exercises for increasing cardiovascular endurance

-Resistance training exercises for increasing muscular strength and endurance

-Cool-down exercises for promoting flexibility and relaxation
The authors have gone to great lengths to ensure that individual exercises are clear and accurately illustrated. Each exercise has photos, safety tips, and reminders as well as variation and progression options that will enable you to be creative and flexible with your fitness program and tailor your program to meet participants' needs.

Exercise for Frail Elders is divided into two parts. Part I describes how to plan a successful program; assess individual needs; ensure safety; and develop leadership skills for presenting, motivating, and creating a sense of belonging in your classes. Part II shows how to implement exercise programs tailored to frail elders and those with special needs. The last chapter of part II presents strategies for putting together an exercise program to accommodate the participants, which includes developing the program as participants' skills improve.

What makes Exercise for Frail Elders unique is the thorough presentation and explanations that show how to design, present, and adapt an exercise program to meet the needs of older adults. The information is presented in a user-friendly format and includes reference charts, forms, checklists, and exercise recommendations for a comprehensive list of diseases and disorders. This book is a valuable resource not only for directors and administrators of physical activity programs but also for fitness leaders working with older adults.

Author Notes

Elizabeth (Betsy) Best-Martini, MS , is a certified recreation therapist specializing in the field of gerontology and long-term care. She received her master's degree in recreation therapy and is a consultant to various retirement communities, skilled nursing settings, subacute settings, and residential and assisted care facilities in northern California. In addition to running her consulting firm, she lectures and provides training across the United States and in Canada.

Betsy is also an instructor at College of Marin and Santa Rosa Junior College, where she trains people to work with elderly clients as activity coordinators. In addition, she teaches two living history classes for older adults and a strength training class for frail elderly clients. Betsy is a certified long-term care fitness instructor through the American Senior Fitness Association and a qualified strength trainer through the YMCA.

Betsy writes a column titled "Let's Get Moving" in Creative Forecasting , a national newsletter for activity professionals and recreation therapists. This column focuses on fitness programs for older adults. She has been recognized with the 1998 Distinguished Merit Award from NCCAC (Northern California Council of Activity Coordinators) and the Pete Croughan Award for her volunteer efforts with a nonprofit organization called LITA (Love Is The Answer).

In her leisure time, Betsy can be found gardening, hiking, exercising, and spending time with her husband and family.

Kim A. Botenhagen-Di Genova, MA , received her master's degree in physical education and the Distinguished Achievement in a Major Field Award from San Francisco State University. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a health and fitness instructor; by the American Senior Fitness Association as a long-term care fitness leader, senior fitness leader, and senior personal trainer; and by the YMCA as a strength training instructor trainer. She is also a certified emergency medical technician and nutrition assistant.

Kim was the first exercise physiologist at the Davies Medical Center Health Check Department in San Francisco, where she worked for seven years. She now teaches Strength and Fitness Training for Older Adults and Senior Strength and Fitness Training Instructor Certification Course at the College of Marin. She is the vice president of the Marin Association for Senior Strength Trainers and a consultant and workshop leader on fitness for older adults.

Kim lives in Novato, California. Her passions are swimming in San Francisco Bay and hiking. She has swum from the Golden Gate Bridge to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and has successfully escaped from Alcatraz many times.

Table of Contents

Part I Planning a Successful Exercise Program
Chapter 1 The Participants: Know Their Individual Needs
Defining Frail Elders and Special Needs
Common Medical Disorders in the Elderly
Chapter 2 The Exercise Program: Make It Motivating, Safe, and Effective
Make It Motivating
Make It Safe
Make It Effective
Chapter 3 The Leader: Steps to Success
Creating a Sense of Fun and Community
How to Set Up a Group Exercise Class
Helpful Tips for Opening Your Exercise Class
Successful Strategies for Leading Your Exercise Class
Helpful Tips for Closing Your Exercise Class
Part II Implementing an Exercise Program
Chapter 4 Warm-Up First: Range-of-Motion, Stretching, Posture, and Breathing Exercises
Guidelines for Warm-Up Exercises
Safety Precautions for Warm-Up Exercises
Basic Seated Warm-Up Exercises
Basic Standing Warm-Up Exercises
Variations and Progression
Chapter 5 Aerobic Training for Cardiovascular Endurance (by Janie Clark, MA)
Basic Seated Aerobic Exercises
Basic Standing Aerobic Exercises
Variations and Progression
Illustrated Aerobic Exercises
Chapter 6 Resistance Training for Muscular Strength and Endurance
Myths About Resistance Training
Basic Seated Resistance Exercises
Basic Standing Resistance and Balance Exercises
Variations and Progression
Illustrated Resistance Exercises
Chapter 7 Cool-Down: Stretching and Relaxation Exercises
Guidelines for Cool-Down Exercises
Safety Precautions for Cool-Down Exercises
Basic Seated Cool-Down Exercises
Basic Standing Stretching Exercises
Variations and Progression
Illustrated Stretching Exercises
Chapter 8 Putting Your Exercise Program Together
Designing Your Exercise Program
Scheduling Your Exercise Classes
Modifying the Exercises
Progressing Your Exercise Class
Maintaining Fitness Results
Monitoring Attendance and Progress
Appendix A Physiological Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Persons
Appendix B Psychological Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Persons
Appendix C Statement of Medical Clearance for Exercise
Appendix D Cover Letter to Physician
Appendix E Medical History and Risk Factor Questionnaire
Appendix F Exercise Program Informed Consent
Appendix G Par-Q and You: Fitness Questionnaire
Appendix H Fitness Goal Map
Appendix I Exercise Equipment Chart
Appendix J Muscles of the Human Body
Appendix K Resistance Training Log
Suggested Resources