Guest Author - Terri Johansen
The SilverSneakers Fitness Program for older adults was developed by Healthways a leader in the Health and Care Support solutions. Healthways states, “The SilverSneakers Fitness Program is the nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults. Members receive a basic fitness center membership at no cost. The program includes use of basic amenities and access to the SilverSneakers classes. The program is typically offered to Medicare-eligible members of a sponsoring health plan, Medicare-eligible members are adults age 65 or older, or in some cases, those of any age deemed disabled and receiving Medicare.”
SliverSneakers is the leading fitness program specifically for older adults. You can receive a “fitness center” membership at facilities that are part of a national network. Some of the participating fitness facilities are: YMCAs, Curves, and other gyms, and wellness centers. Facilities within the program and those seeking participation must meet meticulous criteria to be qualified as part of the system.
AARP supports the program completely and states members “Have fun and move to music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of motion, and activity for daily living skills. Hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles and balls are offered for resistance, and a chair is used for seated and/or standing support.”
Membership in the SilverSneakers program provides you access to some of the following benefits:
•Free Membership for Qualified Plans
Check with your insurance company and Medicare to see if you qualify for free membership or assistance for payment.
•Free Use of Participating Centers when You Travel
If you are traveling in the U.S. you are welcome to use your membership at any of the qualified facilities available.
SilverSneakers fitness classes are designed specifically for the program. It provides classes to help improve strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance.
•Social and Educational Opportunities
You will be invited to attend free lectures on health and fitness and how it will enhance your lifestyle.
•Trained Senior Advisors
Specially trained fitness instructors will introduce you to the SilverSneakers program and will also teach the specially designed classes.
•Class Descriptions – SilverSneakers
Classes provided will definitely pay special attention to muscular strength and range of motion.
The Hathaway SilverSneakers program developers state ”Not only is exercise important to improved physical functioning, but the benefit on mental functioning correlates to a higher quality of life, and that is the mission of the SilverSneakers Fitness Program. We want older adults to know that a lifestyle change can happen at any age. Our member’s recognizing that they can have fun while meeting people and doing something that benefits their health”.
For information on your health plan’s coverage of SilverSneakers program and to find a location near you visit these websites:
The Silver Sneakers Website will answer all your questions, including Fitness Locations and which health plans offer Silver Sneakers:
Silver Sneakers Health Program
Always check with a medical professional before starting this or any exercise program. Be healthy, Be happy!
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