Fitness program not just for seniors

Regular physical activity has shown to be effective to preventing heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Shannon Dinkins, the local fitness account manager for the Healthways SilverSneakers fitness program advises doing safe and fun physical activity is better than not moving at all.

“The health benefits greatly outweigh the risk,” said Dinkins, “vigorous high-level exercise is not necessary as this type of exercise for those at high risk of heart attack, lowering these health risks can be accomplished by moderate-level of activity, improving a person’s overall health.”

Members of the SilverSneakers fitness program are at lower risk for depression, as participation in group activities helps build positive relationships and a support group, Dinkins added.

“It is fun and energetic,” she said, “People need to take control of their health, this program offers health benefits physically and socially.”

Healthways SilverSneakers fitness program is the leading and award-winning exercise program available for those of any age who are eligible for Medicare including disabled individuals or to group retirees.

Dinkins described a 2-year member, age 97, who suffered a stroke just prior to her 98 birthday. “After being treated and released within one week, she was cleared to return to exercise and attend her 98 birthday party at the fitness center.”

Membership in the SilverSneakers program provides a fitness center membership to local participating locations.

Program host sites offer use of exercise equipment, classes and trained staff members to help those in the program, describes Dinkins.

“Benefits include access to conditioning classes, exercise equipment, pool, sauna and other available amenities by location,” said Dinkins, “Also, customized classes designed exclusively for older adults who want to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.”

The program includes health education seminars and other events that promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, with access to online support that can help individuals lose weight, quit smoking or reduce stress.

Those interested are encouraged to call their health plan provider for eligibility or call 888-423-4632 for information on local SilverSneakers fitness programs.


The locations listed offer classes for the program and can be reached for further details regarding schedules and availability.

Body Fitness, 5181 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, 352-686-4660

Candlelite Fitness Center, 955 Candlelight Blvd., Brooksville, 352-799-1977

Genesis Health and Fitness, 8411 Balm St., Spring Hill, 352-597-9383,

Gold’s Gym, 20126 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, 352-799-4959 and 5400 Pinehurst Drive, Spring Hill, 352-684-2468,

YMCA of the Suncoast – Hernando Branch YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, 352-688-9622,

Locations – Women Only

Curves, 31134 Cortez Blvd, Ridge Manor, 352-796-4423, 10081 Cortez Blvd., Weeki Wachee, 352-592-4992, 2250 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, (352) 684-9718.

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