Facilitating exercise in older adults: "Things change"


The intention of this research was to learn from the insights and life experiences of former Physical Education professors regarding the teaching and facilitation of physical activity for older adults. Twenty-one retired colleagues, 14 male and 7 female, from across Canada participated in semi-structured, audio-taped telephone or face-to-face interviews. Content analysis of the transcribed data revealed how "things changed" as they got older. Despite the participants' unanimous passion for movement, aging had taken its toll and resulted in adaptations to their personal perceptions of physical fitness and lifestyle choices. These personal life experiences combined with their academic and professional history contributed to them identifying disciplinary knowledge as a prerequisite, but communication skills, compassion and understanding as pivotal assets for effective exercise facilitation of older adults.