MARQUETTE - Seniors are getting in shape while spending time with friends and having fun at the Silver Sneakers program at Motions Fitness in Marquette.
"It's basically a muscular strength and range of motion class, so they are working on muscular endurance, they're working their cardiovascular system, it's also full body so they get to work on flexibility too," Motions owner Sarah Koskiniemi said. "It's really great because it provides a community and its fun for them too."
Silver Sneakers is the nation's leading fitness program designed exclusively for older adults. The program allows older adults to take control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering a place to be social. The class is designed to increase muscular strength, endurance, range of movement, flexibility, balance, agility and coordination. Participants use hand-held weights and bands and balls to perform different exercises that provides a total body work out.
Participants use balls to balance as they do a repetition of squats during the Silver Sneakers program Wednesday at Motions Fitness in Marquette. The program is popular, enabling seniors to remain active while providing an opportunity for community. (Journal photo by Sylvia Stevens)
"The Silver Sneakers program is an insurance-based program, so it's through Blue Cross and Humana as well as other different types of insurance and its geared toward the older adults but anyone can do it," client services specialist Melodie Alexander, said. "It's included in everyone's membership at Motions."
The class is very popular at Motions, which is the only certified Silver Sneakers provider in the area. The classes usually have 30 to 40 participants who attend at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It can be tailored to anyone's fitness level, so it can be as easy or as demanding as they want. An added bonus for the participants at Motions Fitness is with their membership they receive a free consultation to evaluate their health.
"We give them a free consultation with one of our professionals and we really educate them on why it's important for them to move at their age and how it can be safe, fun and effective, so that makes it really unique," Koskiniemi said. "There are tons of options, so anyone can do it and because our instructor is also a registered nurse he is very knowledgeable and educated."
"The very best thing about the silver sneakers program is you can make it as demanding as you want too," participant Sue Acocks said. "You can walk through it; you can jog through it; you can jump through it; you can leap through it. It is totally up to you."
Acocks has been seeing a personal trainer at Motions Fitness for five years and started taking the Silver Sneakers program two years ago to round out her routine.
"I do it mainly for the flexibility and a little bit for the strength, but I work with a trainer also,"Acocks said. "It is the icing on the cake for me."
For more information about the Silver Sneakers program, call the hotline 888-423-4632, or Motions Fitness 869-4367.
Sylvia Stevens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.