SilverSneakers For Seniors

It’s no secret that January always brings about New Year’s resolutions, and typically, it’s the desire to get back in shape. Despite a plethora of gyms out there to choose from, a vital component missing are fitness programs for seniors.

Enter Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program – designed for, and dedicated solely to, senior adults.

SilverSneakers is a nationwide program celebrating its 20th year in 2012, and is devoted to providing the more mature crowd with fitness agendas to suit their members’ needs. In Louisville alone, SilverSneakers has partnered with more than 22 locations that offer the rigorous fitness regimens.

Metro Parks is the latest cohort to extend a hand to SilverSneakers, establishing two more locations this year in addition to the four already in operation. The highly anticipated Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center in Crescent Hill and the Douglass Community Center in the Highlands are the most recent affiliates.

The locations offer amenities such as fitness equipment, treadmills and free weights for use any time. Additionally, the SilverSneakers group fitness classes are held at select sites, taught by certified instructors. Classes are normally 45 minutes to an hour long.

“A lot of folks that I talk to that take the classes have never worked out before, so this is a good place to start,” said Kim Dues, fitness account manager for SilverSneakers. “And then, a lot of folks who have already had exercise experience in the past — they like the class atmosphere, they like the camaraderie.”

After all, staying healthy is more than just weight loss.

“It’s about maintaining flexibility, strength and mobility as we age,” said Julie Kredens, communications manager for Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation. “And addressing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis, delivered in a socially-oriented program.”

These programs present more than just physical activity — health education and social events are important as well. “The classes are great for building up your flexibility, your balance and your agility, but the social aspect is huge,” adds Dues. “You go to class, you meet new friends — it’s fun.”

For those who worry about cost, many health plans or Medicare Supplement carriers may include SilverSneakers as part of your benefit package. Otherwise, you can take classes for a minimal fee.

For more information about SilverSneakers, go to www.silversneakers.com, or call 1.888.423.4632.