Your physical health is important at any age, but it becomes especially so as you transition into your elderly years with more health concerns, doctor’s visits and medications piling up. All of these factors can affect how physically fit you are able to stay, which is why a program called SilverSneakers was created. SilverSneakers can offer many benefits, namely a free gym membership and social interactions with other seniors, so read on to find out more benefits and how you can enroll in this program.
What is SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is a fitness program that is completely free to Medicare beneficiaries. It focuses on getting seniors out of their homes and into the gym and community to improve their health and overall well-being through access to gyms, exercise classes, and social activities. The program gives free access to the following:
- More than 16,000 gym locations across the country
- All the equipment in the gym
- Amenities like pools and courts at the center
- More than 70 styles of specially designed classes offered by SilverSneakers with certified instructors
- Online resources that with nutrition and fitness tips
- Social events in your community
SilverSneakers prides itself on creating a social environment and a sense of community for seniors all over the country. According to a SilverSneakers member survey, 88% felt they have a “better quality of life” since joining, more than 90% said their health was “good, very good, or excellent” at the time of the survey, and 75% said they’ve made friends because of the program.
A variety of exercise classes are available to SilverSneakers members, perfect for people who are active at any level. These classes are created by experts in older adult fitness and are designed for all ages, fitness levels and abilities, with modifications and chairs available in certain classes.
- The Classic – This low-intensity class aims to help elderly people with routine activities of daily living, like getting in and out of chairs, and overall strength and range of movement. A chair for seated or standing support is available as a modification.
- Circuit – This class is medium intensity and low-impact and focuses on building upper body strength with weights and resistance bands. A chair is used for standing support, stretching and relaxation exercises.
- CardioFit – This aerobics class is safe, heart-healthy and gentle on the joints. The workout is low-impact and focuses on upper-body strength, abdominal conditioning, and stretching and relaxation exercises.
- Yoga – This is a beginner-level yoga class using a chair to safely perform a variety of seated and standing poses to increase flexibility, balance, and range of movement. It’s a lower intensity class that will help reduce stress and promote mental clarity.
- Splash – Seniors of all skill levels can participate in this low-impact water aerobics class with cardio and light weightlifting exercises. No swimming abilities are required as this class occurs in shallow water and focuses on improving flexibility and agility with cardio, strength and endurance conditioning.
- BOOM Classes – The BOOM series is a round of three 30-minute classes that are designed for active older adults who want more of a challenge. They focus on three categories of fitness and are high intensity.
- Move – a high-energy dance class that focuses on cardio endurance.
- Muscle – a blend of cardio and strength-based exercises using free weights to build strength and tone in different muscle groups.
- Mind – a combination of yoga and Pilates to help relax the mind and build core muscle, balance and flexibility.
- FLEX Classes – This new offering takes you out of the gym and into the community to participate in more than 70 types of classes including Latin-style dance, walking groups, outdoor boot camps and more.
How to Enroll
SilverSneakers is only available to those with either the Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement plan that offers a SilverSneakers membership along with the plan. The SilverSneakers website says the program is covered by one in four Medicare programs and you can check if your Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan covers SilverSneakers on the program’s website. You can visit that same link if you’re in the market for a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan and want to find one that includes SilverSneakers in its coverage.
Once you established that you qualify, it’s time to enroll in the SilverSneakers program and stay active! Get your SilverSneakers membership card and take it to your nearest participating SilverSneakers gym to talk with the front desk and get full access to their gym, classes, and amenities.
SilverSneakers is a great program to help you stay active and meet new people. Find a location closest to you and get started on maintaining a healthy and active life. About Care Home Care is here to help you work through any mobility issues and ensure you can get everywhere on time, even if you don’t drive! Our caregivers can transport you to grocery shopping, doctors’ appointments and SilverSneakers classes, so contact us today.