Introduction to Medical Fitness: Exercise Programming for Preventing Falls in Older Adults

Introduction to Medical Fitness: Exercise Programming for Preventing Falls in Older Adults

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Course Description: This course provides guidance to the fitness professional on how to reduce fall risk in older adults through exercise programming. Falls are very common in this age group and closely related to loss of independence and death. Fitness professionals will identify the complex environmental and physiological factors that increase risk of falls, learn to deliver 3 validated assessments of older adult functional capacity, and apply assessment results to the development of individualized fall prevention exercise prescriptions. 2 CECs

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize the devastating impact of falls on older adults and society as a whole
  • Understand how aging and inactivity increase falls risk by changes in sensory systems and the neuromuscular system
  • Learn to implement three validated functional assessments that determine risk for falls: Functional Reach Test, Timed Up-And-Go Test, 30 Second Chair Stand Test
  • Create an exercise program for the prevention of falls by including exercises for joint mobility, sensory stimulation, muscle strength/power, static/dynamic balance, and gait enhancement
  • Modify exercises through progression/regression techniques to be safe and effective for almost any older adult

Course Instructor:

Chris is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at the University of San Francisco, an affiliate researcher in Neurology at University of California - San Francisco Medical Center, and the owner of Thompson Fitness Solutions, LLC. Chris is the author of numerous scientific articles on exercise programming for older adults in peer-reviewed journals including Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, and Journal of Applied Research. At USF, Chris conducts many research and community projects on exercise programming for falls prevention in older adults. These projects, including Body Brain Trainer (neuroscape.ucsf.edu) and Always Active (www.alwaysactive.org) have been externally funded by the National Institutes of Health, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services and Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit Foundation. These efforts resulted in national recognition of Chris as 2009’s Outstanding Young Researcher from the Council on Aging and Adult Development. His continuing involvement in these projects provides research opportunities for undergraduate students at USF. Chris’ professional service includes involvement with the American College of Sports Medicine by serving as Chair of the Interest Group on Aging, the Health & Fitness Summit Planning Committee and previous service to the Professional Education Committee. Chris is the featured expert on older adult exercise for the PTA Global certification program. He also develops educational content for IDEA, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, TRX Training, and the American College of Sports Medicine. He serves as an advisor to many industry groups including the Functional Aging Institute and the Medical Fitness Education Foundation and writes for numerous lay and industry publications such as the ACSM Health Fitness Journal, IDEA Fitness Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Clinic Health Newsletter, Arthritis Advisor, and GOLF Magazine.
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