SilverSneakers: Helping seniors get physically activeWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
What do you think of when you hear the word SilverSneakers?
Many people think of the 16-year-old program that gives seniors a free membership at many area gyms. This program came about after a study showed seniors who exercise spend $1,000 less per year in medical costs than ones who don’t exercise.
In January 2013, the program saw some major changes. Surveys showed that seniors often could not get to the gym; that they didn’t feel comfortable in the gym setting; and they didn’t want to work out with the younger crowd. For these reasons the FLEX program was developed. This program gives seniors a more convenient way to work out and stay fit.
In July 2013, American Mobile Fitness collaborated with the FLEX program to provide seniors group fitness class at parks, churches, 55+ communities, senior centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Currently, there are 33 locations hosting 150 classes per week in Toledo and surrounding areas.
Seniors can take advantage of a wide variety of classes that are led by a certified group of fitness instructors or certified personal trainers. Some of the classes include aqua aerobics, senior stretch, chair aerobics, circuit training, strength and balance, yoga and Zumba.
As we age, our metabolism decreases, which often causes weight gain in the senior population. Many seniors also have a number of ailments to deal with from arthritis, diabetes, COPD, osteoporosis, stroke and high blood pressure to Parkinson’s and heart disease.
Many times after a surgery or an injury, physical therapy is limited to working and rehabbing the specific injury. We find that people still need rehab not only for that specific injury but also the entire body.
After someone has been released from therapy, they still need to continue exercising to avoid losing the gains they have made. Group fitness classes offer a great opportunity to avoid regression. The next step in your continuum of care is a certified professional to lead you in classes specifically designed to make seniors stronger.
Many times, seniors are caught in a cycle of regression followed by physical therapy where they progress to a certain point before being released to regress again. We have found that this program has helped seniors to continually progress and lead a much stronger, healthier and happier lifestyle.
To find out more about the program and how to bring it to your facility or to see if you qualify, please go to www.AmericanMobileFitness.com or call us at (419) 351-1381.
Gregg Schwartz is owner of American Mobile Fitness.