Your SilverSneakers guide to physical health
Free program keeps older adults healthy and moving
Staying in shape as you age can improve your quality of life. And while you can’t stop aging, you can remain physically active to ensure you are healthy and happy.
One thing to consider is how you get moving and what type of activity best suits your needs. SilverSneakers® is a free program offered through Medicare Advantage Plans that offers a way for older adults to stay active and connected.
“The goal of SilverSneakers is to help seniors age with vitality, and to provide opportunities for physical activity and social connection regardless of their age or state of health,” says the SilverSneakers team.
A recent survey of 26,000 SilverSneakers members found that more than 91 percent believe the program has improved their quality of life, with 90 percent feeling healthier overall and 94 percent saying their health is good, very good or excellent, according to SilverSneakers.
SilverSneakers, founded in 1992 by Mary Swanson, aims to provide people 65 or older with access to health programs to improve their quality of life. A nationwide network, the free program benefit is offered through 70 Medicare Advantage Plans and is available to about 18 million eligible seniors.
“We offer a wide range of classes for all fitness levels, from yoga to cardio to classes that focus on balance and strength,” the SilverSneakers team said. “In addition to fitness classes, members have access to other online programming including classes to support a healthy lifestyle with topics including nutrition, stress management and meditation.”
“The opportunities for health improvement through physical activity are so important for healthy aging,” the SilverSneakers team said. “However, it is so much more than just a fitness program – the social connections are a big part of what make the program special.”
If you’re a city employee aged 65 or older enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Kelsey or Aetna, you have access to SilverSneakers. Here are some answers to some frequent questions to help you get started on your fitness journey:
What is SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is the leading fitness program for older adults, offered through more than 70 Medicare Advantage Plans nationwide.
Who is eligible?
Active or retired city employees aged 65 or older enrolled in a KelseyCare Advantage Plan or an Aetna Advantage Plan have access to the added free benefit.
What is the goal of SilverSneakers?
The goal of SilverSneakers is to help seniors age with vitality, and to provide opportunities for physical activity and social connection regardless of their age or state of health.
Is there an additional cost for the benefit?
SilverSneakers is offered at no additional cost to the member through participating Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans and plans with group retirees.
How do plan members access the benefit?
Members just need their 16-digit SilverSneakers number to get access to online and digital classes or to join a local fitness location. If they don’t have their membership number, or want to check eligibility, they can do so at SilverSneakers.com, or by calling Customer Service at 1-888- 423-4632 (TTY:711) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT.
What types of classes and options does the benefit offer?
SilverSneakers offers a wide range of classes for all fitness levels, from yoga to cardio to classes that focus on balance and strength. All SilverSneakers classes are specifically designed for those 65 and older.
In addition to fitness classes at local gyms, SilverSneakers members have access to online programming including classes to support a healthy lifestyle with topics including nutrition, stress management and meditation.
SilverSneakers members can find classes and other information through our app SilverSneakers GO, and they can connect with other members through our Facebook community.
Do I have access to a gym?
Members have access to more than 15,000 participating fitness and wellness centers in the SilverSneakers network.
An additional benefit of SilverSneakers that is unique, is that members can visit as many fitness locations in our network as they’d like as often as they’d like. So, for members who feel safe going to a gym now, and when it is safe in the future, they can use their SilverSneakers benefit when traveling or to visit more than one location in their community. This means you are not limited to one fitness location.
You can find fitness locations located near you by visiting SilverSneakers.com.
Due to COVID-19, I feel more comfortable working out at home. What options are available to me?
SilverSneakers has significantly increased the number of online classes they offer to meet the demand for more fitness opportunities in the home while members are socially distancing during the pandemic.
They now offer more than 3,000 live with instructor classes per week and have logged more than 2 million visits to those classes since the pandemic began. Members can also access hundreds of On Demand classes at SilverSneakers.com.
You can also download the SilverSneakers GO Mobile App to access workout programs.
What is the SilverSneakers community?
A significant benefit of SilverSneakers is social connection. In the gym, members socialize within their classes and before and after workouts, and we know that many have missed that during the pandemic.
Our Facebook community and live with instructor classes can help members to develop that sense of community, and we are looking at additional non-fitness virtual opportunities that would provide connection.
Our instructors also help to build community, creating a welcoming environment and helping new members get acclimated.
Do I need to consult with my doctor?
Before beginning any workout plan, it’s always best to consult with your doctor. Let your doctor know about your fitness level and fitness goals. This way you can make an informed decision together about what will work best for you.