Gone are the days where retirement equals knitting and rocking in a chair. Today’s retirees want to live full, active and vital lives - and the right fitness program is a great way to achieve this goal, and reap a ton of extra benefits in the process.
Nobody knows this better than Poul Nielsen, the owner and founder of Nielsen Fitness Premium Personal Training, which specializes in working with adults 50+ (and those with special or unique needs like chronic pain, injury rehab, etc.)
Poul started Nielsen Fitness in 2006, offering in-home personal training across Toronto. Since then, he’s built a community of thousands of happy clients, expanded into Collingwood and Hamilton, opened two training studios (one of which is located at 864 Hurontario Street in Collingwood) and added virtual training options.
As the business grew, so too did Poul’s focus on working with older adults, a demographic that is often forgotten about in the fitness industry. Personal training is an unregulated industry, which means that anyone can take a weekend course and call themselves a personal trainer - which can have serious safety implications - particularly for older adults.
“The margin of error gets smaller as we age. When we’re younger there’s more forgiveness and it’s easier to bounce back from injury or overtraining,” explains Poul. “As we age, however, it’s so important to ensure exercise is smart, safe and customized based on a wide variety of factors, which is why personalized training is so valuable for older adults.”
Poul ensures his clients’ safety in a few different ways. Firstly, the standards for his team are incredibly high. Though they come from varied backgrounds - including kinesiology, chiropractic and athletic therapy - Nielsen Fitness trainers have all met stringent criteria and passed a thorough practical exam.
Additionally, every client experience begins with a (completely free) comprehensive fitness assessment, to ensure full visibility into any unique needs, areas of weakness, or imbalances. This includes a thorough discussion of goals - which vary greatly. “Some people have specific goals in mind, such as to get fit for skiing, gain more strength, lose weight,” explains Poul. “Then there are others who really just want to ensure their quality of life and be able to keep up with their grandkids pain-free.”
Either way, Nielsen Fitness can help. “Being in shape is about so much more than looking good - though that’s a wonderful benefit,” says Poul. “The right exercise program can result in better posture, mobility, stability, sleep, energy, and even mood and mental health.”
Whether you’ve worked out your whole life or never lifted a weight, Poul and his team will meet you where you are at- both literally and figuratively. For those who have condo gyms at their disposal - and even for those who don’t - in-home training is a great, low-pressure option. “A good workout does not require bulky machines or expensive equipment,” explains Poul. “All you really need is an exercise mat and a small amount of space - we can take care of the rest.”
For those who prefer to get out of the house but still want a personalized experience in a distraction-free environment, the Nielsen Fitness studio on Hurontario is a great option. “We only train one client at a time so it’s private and zero pressure.”
The bottom line, according to Poul, is that it’s never too late to get started and you don’t have to do it alone.