What Is the Silver Sneakers Program?

Silver Sneakers is a program designed to help older adults stay healthy by exercising and socializing. The program is available to qualifying individuals at no cost to them, and it is the nation’s leading fitness program designed exclusively for older adults, according to the organization’s website.

More than 13,000 fitness centers across the country, including many area YMCA facilities, participate in the program, notes the Silver Sneakers website. Members have free access to the facility’s exercise equipment, pools and fitness classes. Most facilities even offer special Silver Sneakers fitness classes specially designed for older adults. The classes help adults over 65 keep in shape and meet peers with similar interests.

Not all fitness centers participate in the program, and some individuals may be eligible for the program but live too far away from the nearest facility. Silver Sneakers Steps is available for members without convenient access to a location, explains its website.

Although they may not know it, one in five people over 65 are eligible for the Silver Sneakers program. Group retirees and members of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Health plans may already be members of the program, reports SilverSneakers.com. Seniors who are not eligible through their health plan can participate as well, but they must pay membership fees at the facility.