Finding the right gym or beginning a training regimen can be confusing, if not intimidating, for older people who have not worked out regularly. A good idea is to start with an assessment and lesson from a personal trainer. Some gyms will offer the first one free.
A small but increasing number of trainers are middle-aged or older; if you think they'll understand your goals and limitations better, don't be shy about seeking one out.
Here are some resources for older people interested in beginning an exercise program. As always, consult your physician before beginning any new workout regimen.
• Go4Life: This National Institute on Aging campaign is devoted to fitness for people over 50, go4life.nia.nih.gov.
• American Council on Exercise: This nonprofit organization certifies trainers and offers a list of trainers by location. It also offers exercises for older folks and answers to frequently asked questions about seniors and fitness, www.acefitness.org/acefit.
• AARP: General health and fitness information from the nation's largest advocacy group for people 50 and older, www.aarp.org.
-- Lenny Bernstein