Fitness expert Jill Cerami works with clients at Afturburn, the workout center at Twin Mills Club at Trilogy Lake Norman, a community for 55 and older.  Photo courtesy of Trilogy Lake Norman.

Fitness expert Jill Cerami works with clients at Afturburn, the workout center at Twin Mills Club at Trilogy Lake Norman, a community for 55 and older. Photo courtesy of Trilogy Lake Norman.

Jill Cerami is an expert when it comes to exercise for those 55 and older.

As the fitness supervisor at the Twin Mills Club at Trilogy Lake Norman, a community for 55 and older, she manages seven trainers and also teaches classes at Afturburn, the club's workout center. The center is filled with renowned TechnoGym® equipment, fitness classes, personal trainers, a resort-style pool and more. 

 Afturburn is filled with the best new fitness gear available and has garage-style doors that can open to the outdoors on nice days.  Photo courtesy of Trilogy Lake Norman.

Afturburn is filled with the best new fitness gear available and has garage-style doors that can open to the outdoors on nice days. Photo courtesy of Trilogy Lake Norman.

Afturburn offers around 32 group fitness classes a week including Aqua Fitness, Chair Yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba. "Tai Chi has become so popular we've had to add an additional class," Jill says. "Tai Chi is great because it helps with balance, it's calming, it focuses on breathing and it works the mind and the body."

Her class participants range in age from 55 to 70 and her advice to them is simple: Have fun with exercise, keep your sense of humor and never be afraid to try something new. 

Here are more of Jill's tips: 

Start out slow: A lot of people start exercising this time of year but they don't take their age into consideration. Start out slow and make it fun by finding something you enjoy doing. Always listen to your body. The "no pain no gain" saying makes no sense anymore. Take a break if you need one.

Keep it positive: When you walk out of your fitness class or from your training session, you should be feeling confident and that you have potential.

Agility and balance are everything: Jill teaches a Body Flex and Balance class that focuses on balance, which is a huge issue for those 55 and up, and agility, which people tend to lose as they get older. The class focuses on core strength, foot placement and making the mind and body work together. 

Stay hydrated: It's important to drink water while you're working out, but don't gulp it or you'll start to feel too full. Instead, sip it like a bird.

Core move: Always engage your core. To make sure you're doing that, visualize someone pushing your stomach - that tightening you feel means your core is engaged.

Keep it functional: Functional training helps with real-life movement. Bending over to pick up groceries or grandchildren? Working with medicine balls, kettle balls and battle ropes help build the muscle groups you use when bending and lifting. Reaching over your head can be improved with exercises such as holding your hands up while standing on one leg. Torso twists that improve spinal rotation will help you when you have to look over your shoulder while driving.