Health & Fitness – What is the SilverSneakers Fitness Program?

6-21-2013 3-26-01 PMSilverSneakers is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events. SilverSneakers classes are customized and designed exclusively for older adults who want to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.

Physically inactive people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as regularly active people. Below is some valuable information on physical activity and cardiovascular health from the American Heart Association:

How much physical activity is enough?

If you’re inactive, doing anything is better than nothing! Studies show that people who have a low fitness level are much more likely to die early than people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness. If you want to exceed a moderate level of fitness, you need to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, on most days of the week, at 50 to 80 percent of your maximum capacity.

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Is exercise safe?

The potential health benefits of exercise greatly outweigh the risk, although there is a very slight increased risk of death due to heart attack during vigorous exercise. Consult your doctor first if you are an older adult, have any concerns, have been sedentary, are overweight or have a medical condition.

I am an older adult. Is it too late for me to become physically active? Should I take special precautions?

More and more older adults are proving every day that they aren’t too old to exercise. In fact, the older you are, the more you need regular exercise. However, you should take some special precautions.

If you have a family history of heart disease, check with your
doctor first.
Don’t try to do too much too fast.
Exercise at an intensity appropriate for you.
Pick activities that are fun, that suit your needs and that you can do year-round.
Wear comfortable clothing and footwear.
Choose a well-lighted, safe place with a smooth, soft surface.
Take more time to warm up and cool down before and after
your workout.
Stretch slowly.

SilverSneakers Classes are available at Athens Senior Center located on Pryor Street and at Athens Limestone Wellness Center.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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