Do you struggle to start or maintain a fitness routine? Don’t worry, you are not alone. While most of us know exercise is beneficial, fitness can be intimidating, especially if you’re over 65 and want to make sure you’re working out safely and effectively.
The good news? Physical activity is important for maintaining health and mobility as you age, and if you’re 65 or older, the right Medicare Advantage plan can provide you with the tools and resources to help you get out of bed.
Whether you need a little motivation to get back into your fitness and social routines, or just want to start a new one, there are more choices than ever in exercise and wellness options.
Where they meet adults
Regardless of your age, the ongoing pandemic has caused major changes in our lives, including an increase in physical and mental health problems due to social isolation. Many seniors were understandably wary and experienced a major disruption in reliable routines because of the increased health risk. More good news? We continue to see a return to our lifestyles and activities.
A recent nationwide poll by Tivity Health®, a leading provider of healthy lifestyle solutions including SilverSneakers®, the nation’s leading community fitness program designed for seniors, shows that seniors are no longer working out at the gym or at home, and are enjoying freedom. To exercise however and wherever they like: indoors, outdoors, at the gym or community center, together or alone, in person or virtual.
Over the past few months, the poll found that 78% of adults had engaged in some form of physical activity, the highest proportion in months. More seniors are engaging in activities that bring them joy and can include a variety of movements – walking, housework, gardening, hiking, etc. By recognizing how these routines have become uncomfortable over the past few years, we can take steps to help seniors. Re-energize and re-engage in healthy activities that are enjoyable and promote valued social relationships.
All you need is an iPhone
Joining Apple Fitness+, an award-winning fitness and wellness service designed to be inclusive, SilverSneakers members participating in health plans will soon have access to Apple Fitness+, workout types from strength to yoga, guided mediations and more. No extra cost.
Programming allows members to exercise where they want, when they want, with world-class workouts and fitness programming for a range of skill levels and interests.
“We know that fitness is not one-size-fits-all, especially in today’s dynamic senior population,” said Richard Ashworth, President and CEO of Tivity Health. “Seniors need a variety of physical activity options that fit their lifestyle. Our partnership with Apple Fitness+ offers fitness for all skill levels, interests and goals, including a wide range of content presented by expert instructors and celebrity guests.
Changing the fitness industry
The fitness industry is changing. According to the International Council on Active Aging, many products and services are being developed to allow people to fully enjoy the gift of longevity, which requires a foundation of good health. Exercise is critical for adults to maintain a healthy immune system that can fight disease, and regular exercise can help improve balance and strength and prevent falls.
One trend the pandemic has seen is the rise of digital and virtual care, and it’s here to stay. One in four older adults currently use a device to monitor their health and well-being, and the use of video calls to socialize with friends and family has steadily increased over the past few months.
More than an exercise
“As a fitness instructor, I see firsthand how exercise can change a person’s life. But fitness is more than just exercise,” said Jen Burgmeier, 2022 Silver Sneakers Instructor of the Year. “I have Silver Sneakers members who attend classes in person and virtually, and I love that they have a choice to work out whenever and wherever they want. A member of mine recently said, ‘Her smile and friendliness coming through her computer screen makes you feel like you can conquer anything!’ It gives me so much joy to see them take meaningful steps to improve their health and fall in love with SilverSneakers.
For more information on how seniors can check their eligibility, visit silversneakers.com.