Silver Sneakers for Older Adults Not On Medicare


By Mary Jane Stern

One of my recent blog posts was about the “extras” some of the Medicare Advantage Plans offer to their members and one “extra” was the Silver Sneakers Program.

About 6 months ago I decided to join a gym because I was out of shape and as we mature, it is so important to regain our flexibility, strength and balance.  Well, I exercised too hard by signing up for some pretty intense exercise boot camps.

Everything you read about exercising talks about how energized you should feel after exercising.  Well, I was totally wiped for the rest of the day.  Thinking about how I felt, I decided to take a look at some of the options for exercising and getting back into some reasonable physical condition.

You Don’t Have To Be Enrolled in Medicare

I had visited a gym a few months ago that offered the Silver Sneakers program.  I was under the impression the only way you could participate in the Silver Sneakers program is if your insurance company offered it or you were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.  But that’s not the case.

I did some reading about the program and discovered the exercise program offered by Silver Sneakers is for older adults and seniors.  I went back to the gym to get more information and if you take a gym’s regular membership, you can participate in all the classes.  Silver Sneakers even mentions that on their website -- if you are a member at a gym and they offer Silver Sneakers, you can participate in the exercise classes.

Start Slowly

I was invited to try out a class and I did. Well, I was quite impressed.  It was a great exercise program and if you are an older adult, not on Medicare, but want a program that increases your flexibility, strength and balance take a look at Silver Sneakers.  I have been totally energized since I joined the gym and participate in the classes.

You can actually get yourself in trouble physically if you are out of condition and haven’t done any exercising in quite some time.  Just taking a cardio class could put extra stress on your joints and just like that you can’t exercise anymore.  So you defeat the purpose.

If you are an older adult and out of physical condition, and want to get physically fit -- slow and easy is the way to go.  Don’t hurt yourself. It takes time to get back into condition.

The good news – you don’t have to be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan to participate in the Silver Sneakers Exercise program at your local gym.  However, if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan and they offer the program, take advantage of it.

As we age, it is so important to maintain our flexibility, strength and balance.