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Seniors Staying Active: How Do You Like to Exercise?

According to USA Today, “seniors need to stay active to be healthy and avert loneliness.” It’s no secret that physical activity has a host of health benefits, but many people simply won’t exercise if it feels like a chore. So how do you keep a routine? Find something you enjoy. 

We polled 1,420 people about their fitness routines and what types of exercise they enjoy. Read on to learn our poll results, the benefits of different types of exercise, and how you can get started with your own exercise routine.

Poll Results: How Do You Exercise?

The clear favorite in our poll was cardiovascular activity (walking, running, or biking), which received 748 votes (28.6 percent). 

Exercising at the gym came in second with 657 votes (25.2 percent). 

Group fitness classes followed with 449 votes (17.2 percent). 

Next came exercising at a home gym or using home gym equipment with 319 votes (12.2 percent.)

“Other” exercises followed with 296 votes (11.3 percent.)

Exercising with a personal trainer was the least popular with 142 votes (5.4 percent). 

Exercise Poll Results - Medicare Plan Finder

Seniors Staying Active With Cardiovascular Exercise

Couple Walking With Bikes on the Beach for Cardio Exercise - Medicare Plan Finder

Cardiovascular exercise is the most popular activity with the people we polled. Walking, running, or cycling may be the easiest to start. All you need is the right equipment such as comfortable shoes and clothes or a bicycle. 

You can walk pretty much anywhere, and cold weather is oftentimes no excuse to get moving — many shopping malls allow people to walk around before the stores open. 

All you need is a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothes and you can start reaping the benefits of cardio exercise. Running may be a bit more high-impact on your joints, but it still has a ton of benefits* for heart and lung health. Bicycling requires more equipment than the other two, but it can be a great way to get outside and explore your neighborhood, provided it’s safe to do so.

*Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise for Seniors

Cardio exercise offers a host of benefits that reach from your head to your toes. For example, it increases blood flow to your brain, which decreases your chance of stroke. Cardio can also improve your blood sugar control, which helps relieve stress on the pancreas and reduces your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, cardio can aid in weight loss, help fight osteoporosis, reduce chances for a hip fracture, and help manage arthritis pain.

Seniors Staying Active at the Gym

Happy Couple Staying Active at the Gym - Medicare Plan Finder

Gyms are a great place for anyone looking to stay active. Many of them have the most up-to-date equipment and they can provide a great atmosphere for like-minded people to meet. Many gyms have staff on hand to answer questions and some even have saunas and hot tubs to help you relax after a workout!

You may even be able to find help paying for gym membership! Some Medicare plans include a fitness benefit that gives you free gym and/or group fitness access! Original Medicare does not offer coverage for fitness services, however, certain private plans called Medicare Advantage plans can. Some Medicare Advantage plans have low $0 premiums, so you’d get benefits such as gym memberships, meal delivery, hearing, dental, and vision for little or no extra cost to you*. 

*You still owe the Medicare Part B premium even if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Benefits of Weight Training at a Gym

According to the New York TImes, “In multiple experiments, older people who start to lift weights typically gain muscle mass and strength, as well as better mobility, mental sharpness and metabolic health.” Gyms also usually have cardio equipment, too, so you can develop a well-rounded fitness program.

Seniors Staying Active With Home Gym Equipment

Exercising With Home Gym Equipment - Medicare Plan Finder

Working out at home can be a great way to stay in shape. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started, either. You can have a safe and effective workout using dumbbells or resistance bands, and you can modify your routine to accommodate your needs. 

For example, some people may not be able to stand up and do shoulder presses. You can do exercises from a chair and still get an effective workout. The key is to know which exercises to perform, how many sets, and how many repetitions.

Home Gym Benefits

You don’t have many excuses to not exercise if your gym is at home. Even people homebound people can reap the benefits of exercise for older adults. You can find equipment at Amazon, Target, Walmart, or even used! Craigslist is a great source to find people who want to get rid of gym equipment they don’t use. 

Another benefit is that you get to control what equipment goes into your gym. Sometimes a fitness center will have what seems like an endless amount of machines, but you only use a handful of them. Don’t want a treadmill? Don’t buy one. You can have only the equipment you want. The best part? You likely won’t have to wait in line for any of it.

Seniors Staying Active at Group Fitness Classes

Group Fitness Class - Medicare Plan Finder

Commercial gyms, senior centers, and even some assisted living facilities host group fitness classes for seniors.

Benefits of Group Fitness

Group fitness classes have an added social component, which is extremely important for seniors and brain health. Also, many times group fitness classes can help you attend more regularly with the “positive peer pressure” that can result. 

If you start attending classes at certain times every week and you skip, your classmates will ask you where you were. That adds an accountability component that just exercising on your own doesn’t have.

Some Medicare fitness programs* can cover this benefit, too! Programs such as SilverSneakers®, Silver & Fit®, and RenewActive™ are included with certain plans. Some Medicare Advantage plans have low $0 premiums*, which would mean that your gym membership would have no additional cost.

*Medicare Advantage fitness benefits are not administered or necessarily endorsed by Medicare or any other government agency.

**You still owe the Medicare Part B premium even if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.

Seniors Staying Active With the Help of Personal Trainers

Woman Discussing Workout Routine With Personal Trainer - Medicare Plan Finder

Following a personal trainer’s plan is a great way to get in shape, especially if you’re new to working out. Your trainer will give you exercises to perform and a routine to follow. They’ll even watch you and make sure you’re maintaining the proper form so you don’t hurt yourself. 

However, personal trainers can be expensive. You may owe trainer fees on top of your gym dues. However, some gyms allow you to have a certain number of personal training sessions for free so you can see if the one-on-one fitness coaching is the path you want to take.

Other Ways for Seniors to Stay Active

Man Staying Active by Swimming - Medicare Plan Finder

The exercise methods in our poll aren’t the only ways for older adults to stay active. There are many other safe ways to exercise including, yoga, swimming, hiking, and playing sports. You have seemingly endless options as long as your healthcare provider approves your activity. The most important thing is that you enjoy the activity. Otherwise, you won’t stick with it and you won’t receive the many rewards that exercising can offer.

How to Get Fitness Coverage

Working out at the gym, your local senior center, or taking group fitness classes may be too expensive for some people. Fortunately, you may be able to find help if you have the right Medicare plan. 

Every location has different plans with different benefits. If you want to learn more about Medicare Advantage and what benefits (including fitness programs) are in your area, a licensed agent with Medicare Plan Finder can help. 

Our agents are highly trained and they can talk to you about your needs and they may be able to find a local plan that fits your budget and lifestyle. Call 1-844-431-1832 or contact us here to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation appointment today.


Have you voted on our poll yet? How do you like to exercise?

Is UnitedHealthcare Dropping SilverSneakers in 2020?

Last year, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), the largest insurance carrier in the United States, announced that SilverSneakers ® would no longer be a plan benefit in 2019. The change would affect the entire UnitedHealthcare® family of products including the plans endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

What Areas Are Affected?

As of January 1, 2019, UHC no longer offers SilverSneakers® with Medicare Advantage plans in 11 states: 

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina 
  • Utah 

Along with Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in nine states:

  • Arizona 
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Utah 
  • Wisconsin

Why Did UHC and SilverSneakers® Part Ways?

According to Sam Warner, who leads UHC’s Medicare Advantage product team, the company’s move away from SilverSneakers® is to “reach a broader portion of our membership” with a “wider variety of fitness resources.” Warner noted that “over 90 percent of policyholders who are eligible for SilverSneakers® “never step foot in a gym.” 

Will UnitedHealthcare offer any fitness benefit in 2020?

Fitness Benefit | Medicare Plan Finder
Fitness Benefit | Medicare Plan Finder

Yes. Starting in 2020, UHC will offer new fitness benefits* with some plans. As plans can vary in every zip code, ask your licensed agent whether or not this benefit can apply to you! 

Medicare beneficiaries with certain UHC Medigap plans may feature a fitness benefit that includes gym membership discounts and phone access to wellness coaches along with other health resources.

Medicare Advantage policyholders may be able to join a program called Renew Active™, which will replace SilverSneakers® in January 2020. The Renew Active™ benefit may include access to fitness centers, classes, and group activities along with tools to exercise your brain health.

*Always check with your doctor before starting any fitness program to make sure the program suits your individual needs.

How Does Renew Active™ Work?

The new Renew Active™ program includes a gym membership, an online “brain health program,” and access to local events. You can use the Renew Active™ website to find a facility close to you that participates in the program. Renew Active™ works with popular gym chains and local gyms. It may include some Planet Fitness locations, YMCAs, and more.

At no additional cost, Renew Active™ also comes with a personalized fitness plan. You’ll get an introductory one-on-one personal training session to set your initial goals and then you’ll be able to meet with your trainer at least yearly.

You’ll be able to work on strength, aquatic exercises, cardio, mind & body, and other specialty activities (like self-defense or Zumba®).

Renew Active™ can also coordinate with your Fitbit as well as your AARP® Staying Sharp program.

You can get Renew Active ™ if your UHC/AARP ™ Medicare plan supports it.

When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Plan?

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is from October 15 – December 7, which is the time of year many Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in new plans or make changes to existing ones. 

Some members qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Depending on your eligibility, you may have a lifelong SEP, which allows you to make one change per quarter for the first three quarters of the year — instead of only during AEP. Some people may only be eligible for a temporary SEP due to a life change, like moving to a new service area.

If you have just become eligible for Medicare for the first time, you can enroll in Medicare Advantage during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

When You Can Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans

You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan at any time during the year as long as you meet the requirements for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

Note: Don’t wait too long to enroll in Original Medicare because once you’re out of your IEP you may require underwriting, because insurance carriers aren’t required to honor your “Guaranteed Issue Rights”.

Tennessee YMCA Locations Breaks Partnership With SilverSneakers ®

In related news, the Tennessee State Alliance of YMCAs decided to leave the SilverSneakers® network. The change is effective January 1, 2020.

The two organizations parting ways means that you must find different coverage if you want to continue exercising at Tennessee YMCA locations.

Tennessee YMCA locations still accept Silver & Fit®, and you may be able to use Renew Fit.

Other Supplemental Benefits With Medicare Advantage Plans

Along with fitness benefits, some Medicare Advantage plans can offer coverage for vision, dental, and hearing services. Other supplemental benefits include meal delivery, non-emergency medical transportation, and drug coverage (prescription and over-the-counter). 

Find Medicare Plans With a Fitness Benefit

If you want a Medicare plan with a fitness benefit or any other supplemental benefit, one of our licensed agents may be able to help. Our agents are highly trained and they can help you sort through the plans available in your location. To set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment, call 844-431-1832 or contact us here today!

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

This blog was originally published on October 1, 2019. The latest update was on November 26, 2019.

7 Types of Exercises for Seniors (with Pictures!)

Exercising is not just for weight loss. As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to keep your body active in order to keep your strength and stability. However, it also becomes harder to exercise as you age. 

Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be intense. You’re not expected to run marathons at 80 years old (though some have done it), but your doctor might recommend that you spend some time on your feet. Exercise for you can mean something as simple as taking a walk around the block.

The following are seven different types of safe exercises for seniors with pictures included. 

Senior Swimming Workouts

If you have a pool available to you, either at home or at a local fitness center, swimming exercises can be kind to older bodies. Experts especially recommend swimming exercises for those with joint pain or arthritis. 

Some fitness centers may offer swimming classes that you can join. If there aren’t any available, consider taking the time yourself to jog through the water, swim laps, or use the resistance of the water to practice leg lifts. 

In fact, certain private Medicare plans might come with a fitness program benefit. These benefits often include memberships to local fitness centers that can allow you access to free or very low-cost exercise classes. 

Seniors at a swimming class | Senior exercises | Medicare Plan Finder

Simple Yoga for Seniors

Yoga can help improve your balance, stability, and flexibility and can even reduce stress. Yoga poses don’t have to be complicated, either. 

Check out these examples of gentle yoga poses: 

gentle yoga poses | Medicare Plan Finder
gentle yoga poses | Medicare Plan Finder

You also might be able to find yoga classes offered at your local fitness center. Look for beginner-level classes or classes specifically designed for senior groups (unless you think you’re ready for advanced yoga – do what you feel comfortable with!). 

Pilates for the Elderly

Pilates exercises focus on your core strength, which can also improve your balance and stability. Pilates exercises can be easily performed at home. It includes poses like planks and sit-ups.

You can do Pilates from a mat in your local gym, or you can set up on your carpet or on your personal yoga mat at home. It does not require additional equipment!

Senior Man Doing Press Ups In Gym | Medicare Plan Finder

Senior Walking & Biking Exercises

Walking or biking for as little as 30 minutes per day can result in weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, stronger bones, better balance, and more!

If you feel safe walking around your neighborhood, you don’t even have to go anywhere. Otherwise, you can find a pretty park, a school running track, or even a shopping mall to get your steps in. 

You could also get your daily walk in by walking your dog or strolling with your grandkids! 

If you feel comfortable, you can also try running – but don’t push yourself. 

Seniors jogging with their dog outside | Medicare Plan Finder

Chair Exercises for Seniors

Sometimes standing up for long periods of time is NOT healthy. Some people can’t walk or move too much, and that’s ok. There are still ways to exercise and safely keep your body moving.

For example, try the “seated row.” Sit in a dining chair or any chair without arms, and repeat a “rowing” motion with your arms at least 8-10 times. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable. This repeated motion will work your upper back and chest muscles. 

You could also do knee lifts from a chair. Simply lift your knees one at a time towards your chest. Lift each leg individually at least 8-10 times. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of lifts and work on bringing your legs higher.

Prefer an even more sedentary routine? These yoga poses can be done from your chair: 

chair yoga poses | Medicare Plan Finder
Chair Yoga Poses | Medicare Plan Finder

Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Regular stretches are important as your joints age. As you age, your muscles gradually shorten and lose elasticity. While you can’t necessarily stop the aging process, you can certainly make yourself more comfortable by performing daily stretches. 

“Static” stretching lengthens your muscles and improves your range of motion. Static stretching means holding a position for 10 to 30 seconds (or even longer, if you have the patience). Static stretches can be as simple as sitting down and touching your toes for 30 seconds straight. 

Try to remember to spend a few minutes on static stretching exercises at least three to five times per week. 

Keep in mind that you should feel the stretch a little, but it shouldn’t hurt. If you find yourself in pain after a stretch, you may have pushed yourself too far, or something could be wrong. Always see your doctor if you find yourself in pain.

Happy senior women stretching while out on a run | Medicare Plan Finder

Senior Dance Classes

Not only are dance workouts more fun, but they usually work several different areas of the body. If you feel comfortable with it, finding a local dance class for seniors is a great way to move your body. 

You can join a “Zumba” class, a dance class designed for full-body workouts, or you can join a class that teaches you how to dance, like a salsa class. Even though a salsa class may not be designed as an exercise program, it certainly keeps your body moving and can still result in positive fitness results.

Senior couple dancing | Medicare Plan Finder

Medicare Fitness Coverage

If you’d like to do your workouts in group settings or would prefer to use the equipment at a gym, you might actually be able to get insurance for that. 

That’s right – private Medicare plans (Medicare Advantage) can sometimes include Medicare fitness programs. These programs can pay for your gym membership and can provide unique classes designed just for the Medicare-eligible population.

Some programs even include home fitness products, like workout DVDs and small exercise equipment.

To find out what plans in your area include a Medicare fitness benefit, call Medicare Plan Finder at 844-431-1832 or click here to send us a message. 

We can’t wait to help you!

Medicare Fitness Programs
Medicare Fitness Programs Guide

Ultimate Guide to NIA’s Go4Life® Program

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “only 28-34 percent of adults ages 65-74 are physically active.” In an effort to get seniors moving, the National Institute of Aging (NIA) launched the Go4Life® campaign. 

What Is Go4Life®?

Go4Life Exercise and Physical Activity | Medicare Plan Finder

Go4Life® is exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute of Aging at NIH (National Institutes of Health) that’s designed to help people include exercise and physical activity in their daily lives. 

According to NIA, the campaign’s “essential elements are motivating older adults to become physically active for the first time, return to exercise after a break in their routines, or build more exercise and physical activity into weekly routines.”

The campaign offers exercise guides, motivational tips, and other free resources such as tracking tools to help you get started with and keep at physical activity.

Go4Life ® Types of Exercise

Go4Life®’s goal is to have people focus on more than one type of exercise. The campaign recommends doing four types of exercise for comprehensive physical fitness*:

  1. Endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Balance
  4. Flexibility

*Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Endurance

Endurance activities are also called aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. 

Benefits of Endurance Training

According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiovascular exercise has many benefits including:

  • Strengthening your heart and muscles
  • Burning calories
  • Helping control your appetite
  • Boosting your mood through endorphins (feel-good chemicals)
  • Helping you sleep better at night
  • Reducing arthritis pain and joint stiffness
  • Helping prevent or manage high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes

Endurance Training Exercises

Go4Life® recommends the following endurance exercises:

  • Mall Walking: Malls provide a safe space for walking that’s free from bad weather and traffic.
  • Walking or Rolling Exercise: Brisk walking or rolling in a wheelchair around your neighborhood or other outdoor areas can increase your heart rate and breathing. 
  • Exercise Around the House: You don’t even need to leave your home to be active! For example, gardening, sweeping, raking, and shoveling snow are great ways to get your heart rate up. 
  • Outdoor Activities: These activities include cycling, horseback riding, sailing, jogging, skating, snorkeling, and swimming. 
  • Indoor Activities: These activities include indoor lap swimming, using cardio equipment at your local gym, dancing, water aerobics, martial arts, and/or bowling.
  • Sports: Competition and teamwork can be extremely motivating. Sports such as tennis, pickleball, volleyball, and hockey can be great ways to raise your heart rate and help keep you healthy.

Strength

NIH Exercise Recommendations for Strength Training | Medicare Plan Finder

When many people think of strength training, they think of lifting weights at the gym. While that is one way, you can also get valuable strength training in the comfort of your own home with dumbbells and/or resistance bands.

Benefits of Weight Lifting

According to RunRepeat.com, “long-term lifting is the best way to prevent age-related muscle loss,” and lifting is “even prescribed for the prevention of diseases like osteoporosis.” Other benefits include:

  • Burning fat
  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Supporting functional independence
  • Improving balance
  • Greater cardiovascular health
  • Improving mental health
  • Fighting type 2 diabetes

Weight Lifting Routines for Seniors and Medicare Eligibles

Go4Life® suggests gradually increasing the weight you use to build strength. Start with a weight you can lift eight times maximum. Use the same weight until you can easily do 10-15 repetitions. 

When you can do two sets of 10-15 repetitions, add more weight. You should only be able to lift the new weight eight times. Then repeat that cycle until you reach your goal. Go4Life® recommends the following strength exercises. You can find exercise instructions here

Upper Body Exercises

  • Seated rows with resistance bands 
  • Chair dips
  • Bicep curls with resistance bands
  • Wall pushups
  • Dumbbell bicep curls
  • Lateral raises with dumbbells
  • Front raises with dumbbells
  • Overhead presses with dumbbells
  • Dumbbell wrist curls
  • Grip exercise with a tennis ball
  • Tricep extensions with a dumbbell

Lower Body Exercises

  • Calf raises using a chair for balance
  • Standing from a chair
  • Leg extensions
  • Leg curls
  • Lateral leg raises
  • Back leg raises

Balance

As we age, our sense of balance can change. According to Harvard University, we lose our sense of balance if we aren’t physically active. 

Benefits of Balance Training

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), about 25 percent of adults over 65 fall every year, and the right exercise program can help seniors prevent falls. It makes sense, too. NIA says that having good balance will help you carry out daily activities such as walking up and down stairs and navigating around objects on the floor.

Balance Exercises to Try at Home

Follow the instructions here to start Go4life®’s balance training routine.

Flexibility

Yoga | Medicare Plan Finder

Flexibility training involves stretching muscle groups to improve your range of motion.

Benefits of Flexibility Training

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), improving your flexibility helps prevent injuries such as strains, sprains, and tears.

Flexibility Training Ideas

Go4Life recommends doing the following stretches three to five times whenever you exercise. You can do all of these exercises at home using a chair, supporting yourself with a wall, or lying on the floor.

  • Partner stretch
  • Standing calf stretch
  • Lying lower back stretch
  • Lying hip stretch
  • Standing thigh stretch
  • Lying thigh stretch
  • Seated back of leg stretch
  • Lying back of leg stretch
  • Seated ankle stretch
  • Various seated back stretches
  • Getting up from a lying position on the floor
  • Lying down from a seated position

Go4Life® also recommends yoga to help improve your flexibility.

Medicare Fitness Coverage

If you’re eligible for Medicare, you may be able to find coverage for gym memberships and fitness classes. Original Medicare, the public health insurance does not offer a fitness benefit. However, certain private insurance policies called Medicare Advantage plans can cover gym memberships and fitness classes. 

Programs such as Silver & Fit® and SilverSneakers® partner with insurance carriers and local gyms to offer beneficiaries discounted memberships. Some insurance carriers even offer their own fitness benefits. 

Some Medicare Advantage plans that offer fitness benefits even have $0 monthly premiums*! Plan benefits and availability vary by location, so check with your agent if you have questions about Medicare fitness coverage.

*Even if your Medicare Advantage plan has a $0 premium, you may still owe the Part B premium.

Medicare Fitness Programs

Find Coverage for Medicare Fitness Programs

Go4Life® provides exercise guidance so seniors can get active. If you want to learn about Medicare Advantage fitness coverage, a licensed agent with Medicare Plan Finder can help. Our agents are highly trained and they may be able to help you find a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. To set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment, call 844-431-1832 or contact us here today.

Find Medicare Plans | Medicare Plan Finder
Find Medicare Plans | Medicare Plan Finder

Silver and Fit® vs Silver Sneakers® Medicare Fitness Programs

Wishing you could afford a gym membership or a yoga class? You might be able to get the coverage you need with a Medicare fitness program.

As you age, regular exercise and healthy habits become more and more important. In fact, a regular exercise program can help prevent everything from falls around the home to diabetes!

Thousands of gyms across the country offer a Silver & Fit® or SilverSneakers® Medicare fitness program, and several Medicare Advantage plans actually include those programs as benefits (at no extra cost)! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle just got that much easier!

Are SilverSneakers ® and Silver and Fit ® the Same?

SilverSneakers® and Silver and Fit® are both Medicare fitness programs, but they are not the same. They are two separate companies offering similar benefits.

Both companies offer group fitness classes and exercise opportunities, and both companies partner with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans to provide their benefit.

SilverSneakers ® vs Silver and Fit ®

Silver and Fit vs SilverSneakers
Silver and Fit ® vs. SilverSneakers ® | Infographic | Medicare Plan Finder

The main differences between the two programs are the locations, the types of classes, and the availability of home fitness. Silver and Fit® eligibility and SilverSneakers® eligibility are generally the same.

Each program partners with a number of different gyms and wellness centers across the country. It is possible that you may have access to more gyms with one program than the other, so it’s a good idea to check for locations in your area before making a decision (scroll down to see our location lists for each program).

Silver and Fit® offers “home fitness kits” for people who do not have a gym in their area or are not able to get to a gym for any reason. On the other hand, SilverSneakers® offers a broader range of group fitness classes.

If you have access to both programs, picking the best one for you may require that you decide if you prefer group fitness classes or home fitness kits. Read on for a more in-depth view of each program.

SilverSneakers ® Medicare Fitness

In a nutshell, SilverSneakers® is a fun exercise program for seniors. It is a fitness benefit found in many leading Medicare insurance plans that help provide guidance and convenient group exercises to improve general fitness, strength, flexibility, and walking ability. These classes can also help seniors and Medicare eligibles find new friends who also want to pursue an active lifestyle.

Medicare Fitness Programs

How do you get a Medicare Fitness Program like SilverSneakers ®?

This fitness service is not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and B). If you are interested in enrolling in a Medicare fitness program, you will need to be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan that supports it.

Fitness programs are not included in every Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, so it’s important to discuss your coverage options with a licensed agent. They can help you purchase a plan that fits your needs and budget and includes a fitness program.

SilverSneakers ® and Silver and Fit ® Insurance Providers

While we can’t list out the current SilverSneakers® and Silver and Fit® insurance providers (they are always changing), we can tell you that many of the “major” carriers that you’ve heard of offer these programs as a part of their Medicare Advantage plans.

If you’re interested, we can set you up to chat with a licensed agent who knows everything about what plans are available in your area today. Just call 844-431-1832 or click here.

SilverSneakers ® Eligibility

To meet SilverSneakers® eligibility requirements, you must be at least 65 years old and enrolled in a Medicare plan that includes the SilverSneakers® benefit.

Many leading Medicare Advantage plans, as well as a few Medigap plans, include automatic Silver Sneakers® eligibility. The best part is that this is available to you – if you qualify – at no cost! How do you figure that part out? Well, fill out this form or call us at 844-431-1832!

Medicare Workout Programs

There are numerous workouts you can choose from. These include classic, circuit, cardio-fit, yoga, splash, stability, etc. A workout is typically 45 to 60 minutes, twice a week. These classes are total body conditioning workouts and often involve hand-held weights, elastic tubing for resistance exercises, and small exercise balls. In some classes, participants may use chairs for additional support and balance.

The classic workout focuses on low-impact training that is suitable for all fitness levels. This workout is designed to increase your muscle strength and range of movement. There is typically a chair that incorporates seated exercises and offers a great start to living a healthy lifestyle.

They also offer indoor and outdoor exercise opportunities. Some locations have yoga on the beach, exercises in a neighborhood park, or other fun outdoor exercise opportunities!

Senior Fitness Programs | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Fitness Programs | Medicare Plan Finder

SilverSneakers ® Go

In early 2019, SilverSneakers® released an app just in time for New Year’s resolutions. The app allows you to access your member ID and digital card. It can track and schedule the various classes and activities available to members. Plus, it even shows locations and classes near you, which is great if you are traveling in a new area.

Senior Yoga Classes

Many of the gyms that accept SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® include classes, like aerobics, yoga, etc.

SilverSneakers® yoga classes provide a unique opportunity for seniors and Medicare eligibles to practice yoga in a judgment-free, inclusive group. These classes may incorporate chair yoga poses for seniors and Medicare eligibles.

Senior Yoga Poses
Senior Yoga Poses | Medicare Plan Finder

SilverSneakers ® Eligible Gyms and Locations

There are over 16,000 SilverSneakers® locations across the United States. These locations include gyms, wellness centers, and YMCAs. Additionally, each location can provide equipment demonstrations.

Are you in Tennessee? Read this: YMCAs in Tennessee will no longer be accepting SilverSneakers®.

Once enrolled, you have access to any of these participating facilities. Enrollees receive a list of local participating facilities, including addresses and phone numbers.

We’ve compiled lists of SilverSneakers® locations based on where most of our audience is located. If your location is not listed, click here.

What is Silver Slippers?

Did you mean SilverSneakers®? If you’re searching for Silver Slippers, you may be getting confusing it for SilverSneakers®. If you are genuinely looking for silver slippers, we found a great pair that can be purchased here. Otherwise, if you have any other questions regarding SilverSneakers®, fill out this form and we will get in touch with you!

Have more questions specific to SilverSneakers®? The SilverSneakers® phone number is 866-584-7389.

Medicare Fitness Programs | Medicare Plan Finder
Medicare Fitness Programs | Medicare Plan Finder

Silver & Fit ® Programs

This program includes multiple benefits that are available to seniors and Medicare eligibles like you. These benefits include a fitness facility program, home fitness program, a resource library, fitness challenges, rewards program, and more! Depending on your coverage, there may be no additional fees to join. This is great if you are on a budget and looking to live a healthy lifestyle.

The body conditioning classes that are designed to increase your strength, endurance, stamina, flexibility, balance, and more. A class is typically an hour in length and is offered several times a week. The program incorporates weights, elastics, and balls into the workouts.

One of the many perks of Silver and Fit is the balance between fitness facility programs and home fitness programs. Home fitness programs offer various kits including walking, yoga, chair Pilates, stress management, Tai Chi, and aquatic exercise. This is a great option for seniors and Medicare eligibles who need focused exercise in their home.

Other program benefits include gender-specific gyms and exercise centers beyond the average fitness facility. These facilities can include yoga and lap pools.

Silver and Fit Eligibility and Age Requirements

To be eligible for Silver & Fit®, you must be age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare.

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover this fitness program. Certain Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans offer this program. To find out if your current Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan includes Silver and Fit eligibility, click here or call us to speak with a licensed agent at 844-431-1832.

What is the Annual Fee for Silver & Fit ® ?

Fees for Silver & Fit® can vary based on your Medicare plan. You may be asked to pay an annual Silver & Fit® membership fee, or your Silver & Fit® benefit might be rolled into your Medicare plan premium.

SilverSneakers | Medicare Plan Finder
SilverSneakers | Medicare Plan Finder

Silver and Fit Locations (Fitness Centers and Gyms)

If you choose to enroll in this program, you will have access to over 11,000 Silver and Fit gyms and locations nationwide. These locations can include gyms, wellness centers, and YMCAs. Once you have your Silver & Fit® membership info, you can select a gym. Just be sure to call the gym and verify that they are participating in the Silver & Fit® program.

We’ve put together a few quick lists based on where the majority of our audience lives. If your location isn’t listed, go to silverandfit.com to find locations near you.

Have more questions specific to Silver & Fit®? The Silver and Fit phone number is 1-877-427-4788.

Get Medicare Fitness Benefits NOW!

It’s never too late to start exercising. Active lifestyles are important for maintaining your health and quality of life. Exercise can benefit older adults mentally and physically. Moderate exercise can help alleviate stress and potentially reduce feelings of depression. Plus, regular exercise may be able to improve mental function.

Participation in a Medicare fitness program can help improve your strength, balance, and endurance. Participating in a healthy lifestyle encourages independence. If you have any questions or are interested in exploring Medicare coverage, complete this form or call us at 844-431-1832.


This blog was originally published on 10/1/18 by Kelsey Davis was most recently updated on 11/13/19 by Anastsia Iliou.

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