Wednesday AM January 13th, 2009

A fitness center called “Nifty After 50” has moved into the Houston area, targeting aging baby boomers. Ed Mayberry reports.

Nifty After 50The concept is the idea of founder Dr. Sheldon Zinberg, who is actually targeting older seniors.

“I’m happy to be 77 years of age.  I’m well into the senior population.  More specifically, the target is over the age of 60.  A lot of people won’t come to a ‘Nifty After 50’ who are 51 years old because they want everyone to think they’re 41 years old.  But I don’t know anybody who’s 61 years old who minds being thought of as 51 year old.  There aren’t a lot of young people running around with bulging muscles and tank shirts or tight-fitting leotards.”  

The health and fitness regimen of “Nifty After 50” is designed to help clients improve physically, including mobility, flexibility and balance.  But mental exercises are designed to keep the mind and memory sharp.

“It’s also been shown that you can decrease cognitive decline with mental exercise.  So we’ve added to this a brain gym—computer programs with exercises designed to improve memory and problem-solving skills.  What has recently been shown in studies—when mental exercise in the brain gym is conducted within 20 to 50 minutes after a physical workout, it is far more effective than when done in isolation.”

The fitness center also offers physical therapy for all ages, yoga classes and a computer driving simulator to improve driving skills.