gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Leadership communication and marketing skills

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author K. Huijsmans - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • H. van Coppenolle - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • S. Djobova - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • A. Niemiro - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa073

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Huijsmans et al.
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As we age, a great number of structural and functional transformations occur leading to a decline in ‘optimal’ physical capacity. Regular physical exercise is the best antidote to many of the effects of aging. As older adults are the fastest growing age group, attention needs to be given to them as a special population with specific needs in the area of exercise and sport. Qualified professionals in the area of physical activity for the elderly have to be prepared now, so they can meet the new demands of the future.

Knowing about the benefits of physical activity for elderly persons is one thing. What is equally important is to be able to implement it. Teaching is not only imparting knowledge; one needs to know how to do it to achieve designed goals. First of all teaching requires having specific teaching skills. Practical teaching skills focus on the different aspects of teaching, such as knowledge and the application of motor learning principles, structuring the learning environment, etc. Apart from teaching skills, teaching requires leadership, communication and marketing skills. Guiding seniors during physical activities is more then only giving some exercises. One needs to understand the individual and group dynamics, as well as comprehended the interpersonal interaction behaviours. Knowing this, one can adapt their skills to the individual or to the group. Finally a teacher must be aware of the legal, ethical, and professional conduct. He or she has to know how to motivate the seniors and has to be aware of the problems that can occur due to the ethnic background, gender, etc. of the elderly persons.

To promote physical activity among the elderly it is considerable to have knowledge about the benefits of physical activity but also to acquire or enhance one’s skills to teach.