What is Silver Sneakers?
Maybe you just overhead your neighbor talking about his free gym membership, or maybe your doctor asked you if you are a SilverSneakers user. You might then be wondering, just what it Silver Sneakers?
SilverSneakers(r) is a fitness and wellness program for seniors age 65 and up. It includes free gym memberships across the country, and it is included with many Medicare Advantage Plans.
NOTE: If you are a part of AARP’s Unitedhealthcare’s Medicare Advantage Plans, then you will be a part of Renew Active. This is a similar program, but has several differences you can read about here.
What is Included in a Silver Sneakers Membership?
- LOCAL GYM MEMBERSHIPS: Silver Sneakers has an extensive list of gyms that participate in their program that offers free gym memberships to seniors. Their website boasts having more gym facilities than there are Starbucks locations in the U.S. (at over 16,000).
- If you are a part of a Medicare Advantage (MA) program that uses Silver Sneakers, then you can access the gyms in their network at no cost. You can use as many of these facilities as you like while you are a part of your MA plan.
- ONLINE FITNESS CLASSES: If you prefer to workout at home, or do not have a physical location close to you, SilverSneakers offers online fitness classes.
- APP: They also have an app to help you track your fitness goals and schedule your fitness plans. The app can also help you locate participating locations.
What you Need to Know About Silver Sneakers
First, there are a few things you need to know to get started. Here is an overview and some frequently asked questions about the program.
How do I know if I am a member of SilverSneakers?
Well, if you are part of a Medicare Advantage Plan, then there is a very good chance you are already a part of the program.
Where can I find participating gyms and wellness facilities?
As an overview, SilverSneakers tries to be in as many convenient fitness facilities as possible. Moreover, they are doing an excellent job of reaching this goal! Right now, they are in over 16,000 fitness facilities.
What if there are no facilities close to me?
If you are in a smaller town or rural area, there might not be a class or gym close to you. However, even if there is not a Silver Sneakers contracted location close to you, you can still participate. The program features online classes and workout kits.
Do I have to take the Silver Sneakers Classes?
Often, people will ask me if they have to attend the SilverSneakers branded classes at the gym. The answer is no. The program gives you access to the whole facility. This includes Silver Sneakers classes, but also all the other classes at the gym. You can also just go walk on the treadmill or lift weights.