Silver Sneakers keeping seniors on track to Fit City Success

TYLER (KYTX) - Some East Texas seniors are taking control of their health in class designed specifically for people their age.  It's called Silver Sneakers and it's offered all over the country and right here in East Texas. It's helping seniors find Fit City Success.

Some health plans offer the Silver Sneakers program to retirees and folks who qualify for medicare.  The program provides a fitness membership to places that participate like Premier Fitness in Tyler.  And with that comes customized classes to help seniors find greater independence and better health.

Pat Harelson doesn't dare miss a date with her Silver Sneakers.  "Oh gracious yes.  I am committed to it. I don't miss," says Pat Harelson.

3 days a week she joins her friends in class at Premier Fitness.  "They forget we have silver sneakers on.  They work us like we are 30," jokes Harelson.  They work on their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.

"Most folks as we get older tend to slump. It re teaches us balance, just being able to move.  I think moving is so important," says Harelson. 

Their instructor, Kelly Hudson helps make sure the seniors are getting a good workout, but not at the expense of their health.  "First of all we focus on safety.  We make sure they are working at their level," says Hudson.

The seniors don't do a lot of cardio here at the Silver Sneakers class, but they do take on pilates.  That's good for their core strength and their balance.

"Pilates is good for seniors.  It's good for everybody because anything you do, comes from the core and so if your core is strong, you walk better, you sit better and that is the gist of pilates.

"It keeps me limber, feeling more strength, and more confidence in myself," says James George. 

James George is one of the seniors enjoying real benefits from silver sneakers.  Not only does he feel refreshed once class is over, "I have lost weight too.  I have lost 10 pounds recently."

The weight loss is big benefit, but their instructor hopes the class gives them so much more..

"I think it is so important because it keeps them socially active, because we all take care of each other," says Kelly Hudson. 

"I would say come join us.  We have a good time and there are a lot of good folks and they are supportive," says Harelson.

Kelly Hudson, their instructor says she's gotten great feedback from the classes.  Seniors who couldn't touch their toes are able to do so in weeks.  It's rewarding for her and the seniors.


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