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Older Personal Trainers in Demand

50-plus want to exercise and lose weight

At 57 and seeking a career change, Bobby Morrow found his new niche: personal training.

Most of his clients are over 50 and want to lose weight. "They also come in with shopping lists of challenges," from high blood pressure to heart disease, says Morrow, now 62, of Lexington, N.C.

See also: Exercise is important for longevity.

Demand has accelerated for personal trainers who can relate to older adults in the gym. At last year's annual Personal Trainer Institute held by the IDEA Health & Fitness Association, more than 41 percent of participants were between 45 and 64 years old, up from 35 percent for that age group in 2004.

Trainers should be skilled in customizing sessions for clients, says Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging. Morrow spent six months preparing for a certification exam by the American Council on Exercise.

"It's still exciting," he says, "to see a client from across the gym looking taller, healthier, stronger."

Susan Kreimer is a writer in New York.

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