Senior woman working out at gym

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3 ways gyms are catering to seniors

If you joined a health club in the 1970s or danced along to Jane Fonda workout videos in the 1980s (wearing leotards and leg warmers, of course!), then you might be reaching an age where you think going to the gym isn’t for you. Not so fast!

Getting enough exercise is important as you age  because it can help prevent or delay health problems, and it can help your muscles stay stronger so you can keep up with your day-to-day activities and independence.

Plus, with over 68 million baby boomers aging through their 60s and 70s, gyms across the country are making changes to accommodate this aging population and keep them moving and grooving through retirement.

Check out these three ways gyms are helping seniors embrace a healthier lifestyle—and consider if joining a gym might be right for you in the new year!

1. Exercise equipment designed for seniors

When you think about gym equipment, zooming treadmills and complex weight machines might come to mind. However, more exercise equipment designed for seniors is popping up in gyms. Below are a few machines to look out for as you find a gym that’s right for you.

  • Treadmills that max out at safe speeds, have multi-grip rails and feature shock absorption technology
  • Recumbent exercise bikes that are low profile, easier to get on and off, and have large seats and back cushions for comfort
  • Ellipticals with low step-up height and reduced stride length
  • Rowing machines with higher seats or lumbar seats
  • Weight machines that are at wheelchair height

2. Personal trainers for seniors

Many gyms are bringing in personal trainers who are educated in helping seniors stay healthy. Experienced personal trainers for seniors develop fitness programs that help improve the agility, balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and strength of older adults. These experts understand the fitness obstacles of older adults and are able properly assess their fitness levels and needs.

Check out these 5 Free and Easy Ways to Work Exercise Into Your Day

3. SilverSneakers®

Gym memberships can be expensive, especially for seniors who are on a fixed income. However, many gyms offer discounts for seniors—or even FREE access through SilverSneakers, a fitness program designed to give seniors no-cost gym access (plus a bevy of other benefits including in-person and online fitness classes, support from trainers, nutrition advice, and social events).

There are over 15,000 fitness locations across the United States that participate in SilverSneakers; simply input your ZIP code to find the fitness locations and community classes closest to you!

Most seniors get membership to SilverSneakers through their Medicare Supplement insurance plan or their Medicare Advantage plan. Bankers Life is proud to offer our Medicare Supplement insurance beneficiaries membership to SilverSneakers at no additional cost!

Finding a gym that meets your needs

Oftentimes, the hardest part of going to the gym is finding a gym that’s a good fit for your needs. If you have access to SilverSneakers, searching their participating locations is a great way to get started narrowing down your options. Then, you might consider visiting potential gym locations and seeing which ones you like the most. Pay attention to things like the other patrons at the gym and how loud the music is. Will you feel comfortable working out there? You can also ask employees if the gym has exercise equipment designed for seniors or trainers who are educated in senior fitness.

Want more? Read our blog Healthy Habits for Seniors

We’re here for you!

Bankers Life values your health and financial security! Reach out to our team for the service and support you need.

Bankers Life is a private company that is not Medicare, Medicaid or MaineCare and is not a governmental agency