Time for a career change?
“I’m looking to change my career, this last year has made me think that it’s time to look after myself and do something I enjoy.”
“Life’s too short to keep doing a job that causes me so much stress.”
This is the recurrent theme of many of the phone calls to our training enquiry line of late. Some have been furloughed but doubt there will be a job to go back to, some have become unemployed, some are just seeking that life change they had been putting off. The pandemic has made us all reappraise our lives and priorities and now is the time for many to consider a job that fits in with other commitments and helps us to stay healthy and active rather than sitting at a desk every day.
The Centre for Ageing Better reports on the employment crisis hitting those in mid-life:
“One in four older workers – 2.5m in total – have been furloughed, and hundreds of thousands will be unable to return to their previous jobs. One in ten older male workers and one in six female older workers were employed in the ‘shutdown sectors’ hit hardest by the lockdown.” A mid-life employment crisis
Over half of those we train to become specialist exercise instructors for older adults fall into the mid-life category and from many varied backgrounds. Many fitness professionals are looking to reduce the intensity of their classes and protect their aching knees. And there are teachers, nurses, physiotherapists, carehome workers, admin assistants, ex-military personnel and retirees who decide they don’t want to be retired anymore.
Matt took the plunge and says he’s never had such a fulfilling job.
“I come from a 20+ year career in corporate branding & marketing communications across various sectors; 15 years based in central London and 7 based in Johannesburg. I came back to the UK in May 2016 to be closer to my father who is battling the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. I decided that I wanted to help older adults to live independently for as long as possible, so that they would avoid any preventable hospital visits. That is when I came across Move it or Lose it and the beginnings of an exciting new career. For me, this career uniquely combines some fantastic quality of life elements: exercise & fitness, learning & knowledge, and the ability to benefit others – all set to a soundtrack of laughter & music, which science has proven is beneficial for the mind and spirit!”
Laura also took the plunge to do the training course and change her career. As a television producer, Laura worked long hours with lots of travelling. After having her children, she knew she needed to find a different kind of job that would fit in with the kids but wasn’t sure what to do. She searched high and low but just couldn’t find the right thing. She noticed that there were lots of opportunities to work with toddlers and young children, but very little was available for the older generation. With a soft spot for older people, Laura widened her search.
“If someone had suggested I’d be a fitness instructor I would have laughed, it would never have entered my head. But when I found Move it or Lose it through a Google search, I just knew it was the right thing for me. It ticks every box for me; it’s flexible and works really well round school time, it’s incredibly rewarding and I feel that I’m actually giving something back too.”
Chris worked in the NHS for 28yrs and in 2015 made a decision that changed the course of her life when she walked away from a career she loved to care for her Dad who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Dementia. Chris chose to train to become a Move it or Lose it instructor as it was so flexible and would fit in with her role as a carer and has never looked back.
“I am passionate about this programme of exercises as it promotes ‘Active & Healthy Ageing’ encouraging the over 60s community to take control of their own health and fitness and I take so much joy in seeing our communities coming together and taking part in this exercise programme.”
There are 14 million people over 60 in the UK and the ageing population continues to soar, but healthspan isn’t keeping pace with lifespan with many people spending the last 16 years of life in ill health. As much of this is due to inactivity, there’s a desperate need to keeping people moving more (and sitting less) as they age.
The solution is simple – bring people together to exercise and socialise in a non-threatening environment in their local communities. Not only does this improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, but it also reduces loneliness too.
As we now value the role exercise has to play more than ever before, it’s an ideal time to retrain and help people to stay fit, active, confident and independent for longer.
“There is no situation, there is no age and no condition where exercise is not a good thing.” Let’s work together to get everybody active every day to improve the lives of individuals and our communities.” Professor Chris Whitty
If you’ve been inspired, you too could change your career and become an exercise instructor for the over 60s!
You can read more about the the FABS Training Programme here.