MUSCATINE, Iowa–In striving to provide programming for all age groups, the Muscatine Community Y has looked to add Silver Sneakers exercise classes to their roster for some time. Thanks to a recent grant from the Quad-City Plus 55 Club, the Y has made this goal into a reality, offering a new and enjoyable activity for older adults in Muscatine to stay active.
Designed with the needs of people age 65 and older in mind, Silver Sneakers incorporates chairs, exercise tubing, light hand weights, and small balls to give participants a workout that will improve their strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. Because the class provides a good all around workout at a reasonable pace, Character Development Director Amy Hessel considers it an excellent program not only to maintain overall wellbeing but to, “help those who have chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or osteoporosis, exercise safely and feel better.” As an added benefit, Silver Sneakers will provide an opportunity for participants to get to know each other and socialize, which can lead to better mental health as well.
Luann Garrett, an active member of the Y for more than 15 years and a certified Silver Sneakers, Zumba, and Aqua Zumba teacher will lead the new classes. She welcomes the opportunity to bring this new class to the Y and hopes that many people, whether frequent Y attendees or those looking to start a brand new exercise routine, will consider trying Silver Sneakers out: “I just hope anyone who’s interested will come give the class a try! It doesn’t matter if you’re in your 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s plus. We want you to come see what this class it all about,” she said.
Because Garrett can teach participants ways to modify exercises to best suit their current skill level, she considers it an excellent class for all abilities. “The class is very adaptable, so every fitness level can participate and benefit from the class,” she stressed: “If someone gets too tired during the class, several activities can be completed from a seated position instead, and folks that are feeling strong can be challenged to push themselves a bit further.”
The Y hosted its first Silver Sneakers class April 6, and looks forward to continuing to hold them each Tuesday and Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. Free to all current Y members, certain Medicare supplemental insurance plans also cover the cost of participating for non-members.
To promote social distancing, the Y currently limits all Silver Sneakers classes to 18 people and takes registrations by phone beginning 24 hours before the class begins. To secure a spot or to free up a spot if you cannot attend, you may call the Y at 563-263-9996.
For older adults looking for an enjoyable group exercise class created just for them, Health Promotion Services Director Melanie Steckel encourages them to sign up for a Silver Sneakers class and see what it can do for them. “This is a great way to start exercising or ease back into an exercise program,” she stated. “It is ‘doable,’ lots of fun, safely social distanced, and provides a supportive environment so you don’t ‘fall off the wagon’ or drop out of your exercise program by yourself.”