Get Active, Feel Great!

Posted on

Oct 12, 2017

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Rosemary Thomas of Chicago proudly endorses physical fitness and the saying, If you dont move it, you will lose it. After two hip replacements and fluctuating weight, she knew she needed to step up her fitness routine to regain mobility. Joining SilverSneakers provided her with the consistency she desired and the confidence she needed to begin fine-tuning her body. In addition to attending SilverSneakers classes regularly, she loves cardio and dancing. Thomas encourages others to get active and says, Dont meet me at the gym; beat me getting to the gym.
In 2016, Thomas was selected as one of 10 finalists for the SilverSneakers Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award due to her inspiring story of improving her health and happiness, and being a dedicated fitness champion.

With SilverSneakers, older adults can get active and feel great, at their convenience and at no additional cost. More than 14.5 million people are eligible for the SilverSneakers benefit through more than 60 health plans that include the nations leading Medicare Advantage health plans, Medicare Supplement carriers and group retiree plans.

As Thomas story shows, fitness is personal. Each individual should exercise where, when and how they want. That's why SilverSneakers has built a national network of more than 13,000 participating locations and fitness centers use the pool at one location in the morning, jog on a treadmill at another in the afternoon And take a class at another gym in the evening.

In addition, the program includes SilverSneakers FLEX, with more than 70 unique types of classes in convenient neighborhood locations, such as churches, recreation centers and older-adult living communities.

Celebrating more than 25 years, SilverSneakers is the nations leading community fitness program designed specifically for older Americans. No other program has such a rich history and experience in older adult fitness. What began in 1992 as a first-of-its-kind class for older adults, has now grown and evolved to accommodate all fitness levels, from Baby Boomers and beyond.

For more information about SilverSneakers or to check elegibility, visit www.silversneakers.com or call 1-888-423-4632. In addition, our Spanish customer service team is available at 1-888-617-6392.

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How Walking Can Boost Your Brain Power

Your brain isnt exempt from the aging process. In fact, cognitive decline technically begins as early as your thirties. But that doesnt mean you should just give in and allow time to take its toll without a fight. You can slow and, in some ways, even regain some of your cognitive health. And the simple act of regular walking can play a key role in boosting your brain power.When you hit your 30s, your working memory begins to fade so that recalling bits of information and passwords becomes more of a challenge. By the time you slide into your 40s, you begin to lose brain volume at the rate of 5% per decade. And of course, this affects memory, recall, and focus.But a recent study suggests that you can reverse the deteriorating effects of aging on your brain. The study revealed that six months of regular, brisk walking improved more than just cardiovascular fitness. It also brought improvements to the brains white matter and memory. What does this mean for you? And how does walking impact dementia and overall age-related memory loss? Heres what we know.Walking Improves White Matter and MemoryThe study compared walking to other forms of exercise such as stretching, balancing, and choreographed dancing. The participants were healthy but inactive adults, over half being female. All were over the age of 60. They had no history of dementia, stroke, or other neurological issues.Researchers established their baseline measures in areas of cardiorespiratory fitness, memory, and processing skills. They also performed an MRI to capture the function and health of existing white matter. The participants engaged in exercise three times per week for six months. The walking group took a brisk 40-minute walk each session.At the end of the study, researchers repeated the brain tests for comparison.Walking Boosts Brain Power More Than DancingWalkers and dancers had better cardiovascular health after the six months of routine exercise. And researchers also found that both groups experienced improvements in white matter. But the positive changes in the white matter of the walking group were more prevalent. According to the MRIs, certain parts of the brain were larger and lesions (indicating damage to the brain) had shrunk during the study.Researchers targeted specific regions of the brain for measurement, regions that are more susceptible to decline during aging. The research is crucial to scientists, proving that white matter is responsive to change and is essentially pliable. Deterioration at this stage isnt necessarily fixed.Walking Is Good for Your Heart and BrainOnly the walking group experienced changes in white matter that were associated with improved memory. But researchers arent sure why walking had a greater impact on white matter and memory than dancing. Similar results were expected since both activities are moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises. Its possible that the instruction the dancers received kept them from more vigorous and constant movement. This means that the key to boosting memory power is aerobic exercise, constant movement with a steady supply of oxygen.Exercise that consistently elevates your heart rate is good for your heart, and research continues to reveal that what is good for your heart is good for your brain too. Aerobic exercise increases oxygen to all parts of your bodyincluding your brain. This increased oxygen can lower high blood pressure, one of the biggest risk factors for neurological diseases and dementia. And that risk is further diminished since routine physical activity also decreases stress and improves sleep, both of which impact memory.The study is also valuable since its one of the few of its kind that was conducted as a controlled trial. Previously, most studies asked participants to report activities they were already doing rather than coming to exercise in a controlled environment.What About Gray Matter?Most of the previous studies on physical activity and cognitive decline focused on gray matter, your brains outer layer where many of your neurons are concentrated. But this research zeroed in on the lesser studies aspect of your brainwhite matter. Its found in your brain's deeper tissues. White matter includes extensions of neurons called nerve fibers. While your gray matter can be likened to a light bulb and your white matter to the electrical wiring that carries the current.Yes, gray matter is important, but to battle cognitive decline and age-related memory loss, you also need to revitalize and support the white matter that keeps everything going. We now understand why walking is powerful for your brain as it impacts both white and gray matter.Time to Start Walking for Brain HealthWhite matter is prone to degeneration whether due to healthy aging or dementia. If you want to keep your mental acuity for as long as possible, consider adding some brisk walking to your schedule at least three days per week. If youre new to exercise or walking, its okay to start small work your way up to 30-40-minute sessions. This will give you maximum impact, especially if youre only walking a few times per week.But walking benefits your health far beyond boosting brain power. Check out our article, 7 Benefits of Walking that Might Surprise You.TYE Medical offers premium incontinence products in a variety of sizes and absorbencies. Shop our online store for free and discreet shipping on all orders

Fall Prevention: Reducing the Risk for Our Seniors

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 experience a fall each year? It's a staggering statistic, one that not only poses a health risk for our seniors, but also a challenge for their families, caregivers, and communities. Fall-related injuries can range from minor bruises to severe fractures and even fatal accidents. As such, there is an urgent need to address this issue head-on, and thats exactly what we at TruBlue are dedicated to achieving.Understanding the RisksIt's essential to recognize the factors that increase the risk of falls:1. Physical factors: Declining vision, muscle strength, and balance can increase the likelihood of falls.2. Medications: Some prescriptions can cause dizziness or dehydration, making falls more likely.3. Environmental hazards: Clutter, uneven floors, loose rugs, and poor lighting are common culprits.Prevention Starts at HomeMost falls occur at home, which means creating a safer living environment is the first line of defense:1. Clear the Clutter: Ensure hallways and rooms are free from obstacles.2. Install Handrails: Ensure that there are sturdy handrails on both sides of the stairs.3. Proper Lighting: Ensure that all areas, especially hallways and stairs, are well-lit.4. Non-slip mats: Place them in the bathroom, kitchen, and other wet areas.5. Regular Home Maintenance: This includes checking the stability of handrails, the condition of staircases, and the functioning of lights.Personal Health and Wellness While adapting the environment is vital, we also must ensure that seniors are physically fit:1. Regular Check-ups: Discuss medications with doctors to understand side effects and any potential risks associated with them.2. Exercise: Engage in activities that strengthen muscles and improve balance.3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to dizziness.4. Vision Checks: Regular eye check-ups ensure that vision stays sharp, reducing the risk of tripping over unseen obstacles.TruBlue's Dedication At TruBlue, we believe that fall prevention is a community effort. Our dedication to this cause extends beyond just providing guidelines. Our team is actively involved in helping to make homes safer and more accommodating for our elderly population. We work hand-in-hand with families to assess potential risks and implement solutions tailored to each individuals needs.Join the "Prevent the Fall" Campaign with TruBlue One of the simplest yet most effective tools in fall prevention is the humble grab bar. It provides a sturdy handhold in places prone to slips, especially bathrooms. In our commitment to making homes safer for seniors, we are thrilled to announce our "Prevent the Fall" campaign!In September, we're offering 100 FREE grab bars to those who need them. It's our way of saying we care, and it's a tangible step towards reducing those fall statistics.Take action now. Ensure the safety of your loved ones and bring peace of mind to your family. Click here or contact us directly to nominate someone for a free grab bar and lets join hands in our mission to "Prevent the Fall" together!Remember, it's not just about installing safety equipment; it's about giving our seniors the freedom to live independently with confidence. With TruBlue by your side, lets make every home a haven of safety.*TruBlue locations are individually owned and operated.Offer valid at participating locations only. Subject to terms and conditions. No purchase necessary for entry.

13 Ways to Celebrate Health, Fitness and Local Parks this Summer

Summer is here and its time for the whole family to get moving!Every year, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) celebrates Family Health & Fitness Day the second Saturday in June (this year its June 8). The goal is to encourage families to make the most of their local park and rec facilities. For many people, thats pretty convenient: 74% of people who live in the U.S. are walking distance from a park, playground, recreation center or open space. Which is great news, because research shows that children and adults who live near parks and spend time in nature actually tend to be healthier mentally and physically.This month, in honor of Family Health & Fitness Day, think about the green spaces that are close to you, and dream up some ways to bring the great outdoors into your familys summer routine. Here are some ideas for fun family adventures all season long.Take a family walk to your local park. Grab your walking shoes and leave the car behind! Wave to the neighbors as you amble over to your favorite open space. Isnt it nice to get away from technology and screens and breathe in some fresh air with the family? You could even consider making this a part of your regular evening routine.Keep your park clean. Grab a trash bag and some gloves and pick up any trash you encounter at the park, playground or recreation facility. Make it beautiful so you and others can enjoy the serenity of nature, without being distracted by litter. Bonus: picking up trash can be a good workout!Sign up for a 5k (or plan your own). See if your local park hosts a walk or run, and if they dont, study a map and do it yourself! Make it a fun group activity by inviting friends and neighbors to join.  Plan a barbecue or picnic at the park. Stock up on your favorite foods and enjoy them al fresco at your areas green space. Take a ball or flying disc to toss around and make a day of it. 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Or, maybe its time to try your hand at pickleball, or join a volleyball team. All of the above are a great way to get moving, and maybe even meet some of your neighbors.  Go on a treasure hunt. Wander around the paths and trails of a regional park and see what you can spot. Maybe youll find a four-leaf clover, observe some weird insect behavior or encounter other creatures. Tune into the flora and the fauna and see where your walk takes you.Visit a local farm or farmers market. Buying fruits and vegetables grown nearby is great for your health and the environment. When you shop whats in season, you might even get inspired to try some new recipes. See if your local park hosts a farmers market or head to a nearby farm. Take the kids along and let them choose fruits and veggies they want to try. Take it a step further and challenge them to help you come up with the menu for the week.Take a deep breath. Green spaces have a way of helping you relax, instantly. At a park, you can sit, rest, think and simply be, with no expectations or obligations. Grab a journal and some headphones, or just sit on a bench and watch the world around you. You may find that you leave feeling a little bit lighter than when you arrived.Spend a night camping. Whens the last time you went camping? Summer can be a lovely time to spend a night under the stars. Do a little research and find a campground near your house. Or, keep it low-key and pitch a tent in the backyard. It involves less packing and planning and easy bathroom and air-conditioner access. Bring more green spaces and green practices into your life. Consider what changes you could make at your home to boost your own healthy practices and activities. For example, kick off a regular family exercise routineyou dont need any equipment for sit-ups, push-ups, crunches and other strength-building activities. Plant a garden and grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, either in containers, in the ground or in a community garden. Challenge other family members to a walking competition and see who can squeeze in more steps every week. What other endeavors can you think of that would make health and fitness a part of your familys everyday routine?  Family health and fitness gets the spotlight in June, but its a concept you can commit to year-round. This summer, strive to incorporate some fun, healthy habits into the mix. Eating nutritious foods and adding more activity to your routine can benefit you and your whole family. And your local park is a great place to start!This article was contributed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.  Contact them concerning Medicare Advantage and Insurance Plans at 251-210-7089.