Fitness and good health are at the heart of the SilverSneakers® Fitness mission, but the close-knit community and lasting friendships are the heart of the program. For many members, those friendships have grown and developed both in and out of their SilverSneakers classes, spawning unique traditions that reflect the bright, diverse (and sometimes silly) personalities within the group. From wearing red noses for class to spending a day at the ballpark, SilverSneakers groups are finding creative ways to make fitness fun again. And the more fun the workout, the more likely members are to stick with it!
Take me out to the ballgame
SilverSneakers members at the YMCA in Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania pick one Pittsburgh Pirates game every summer and turn it into a fun group outing. And burning off those stadium dogs together is almost as fun as eating them! Apparently the group is good luck too – the Pirates have won every game they’ve attended together!
Let’s do lunch
At the YMCA in Jefferson City, MO, SilverSneakers members enjoy a class “work-out lunch” on the first Friday of every month. Lunching together is one of the more common traditions among our SilverSneakers members, and many classes across the country enjoy getting together at least once a month after their workout to celebrate fitness and friendship.
Fitness and fashion
Many SilverSneakers classes have adopted “team colors” and matching shirts to show their commitment and camaraderie. One group at 24 Hour Fitness in Fairfield, CA have matching red and black shirts, and in New Mexico they’re wearing purple, lavender, pink, red and teal to represent. At RC3 in Tennessee, the group sports mismatched socks for class. A “team uniform” reinforces that you’re part of something bigger – and that you have support and camaraderie on your journey to a healthy lifestyle!
Spreading the love
Some SilverSneakers groups have turned their workouts into a way to raise awareness for a good cause. In Paramus, NJ members wear red shirts every Wednesday in recognition of healthy heart awareness. In Oklahoma, the Earlywine Park YMCA SilverSneakers classes sport red noses on the last class of each month to support Red Nose Day, a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness and money for children and young people living in poverty.
E. Joyce V. takes five Zumba classes a week at her YMCA in Tennessee, in spite of having a total hip replacement and two total knee replacements! She and her SilverSneakers classmates and instructor wear belly scarves for each Zumba Gold class to spice it up and facilitate efficient movements. “We love our instructor since she doesn’t make us feel like seniors,” she says.
Silly and fun, philanthropic or a big adventure – SilverSneakers members are creating traditions that come in all shapes and sizes. But they all have one thing in common – fitness, friendship, and fun are at the heart of it all.