Journey To 30 Challenge: Build Your Functional Strength

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Today’s challenge is to take your favorite SilverSneakers class or try one of the best functional exercises for older adults — or do both!

Journey to 30 Challenge Build Functional Strength

To celebrate our 30tth anniversary, we’ve put together the Journey to 30 Challenge! It’s four weeks of summer-fun activities to help you stay active, connect with the SilverSneakers community, and have a total blast doing it.This is Activity No. 19. Find the full step-by-step guide here. And download the game board PDF here. 

Journey to 30 Challenge Board Game PDF

When your focus is to stay as independent as possible, functional exercises are key. They help you build strength and endurance in moves that are used in everyday life. Think: getting in and out of a chair, squatting to pick up something heavy, or carrying your groceries to and from the car.  

One stand-out functional move is the carry. It’s simple — you pick up a weight and walk forward. And it’s effective.  

This lift-and-walk movement builds total-body strength, improves posture, and can help you walk with greater ease. Plus, it’s a surefire way to get your heart pumping.  

Another no-fail way to build total-body strength? Coming to a SilverSneakers class!

Which brings us to today’s activity.

SilverSneakers members: RSVP for the 30th Anniversary Grand Finale Member Celebration that takes place at 1:00 p.m. ET on September 16. It’s an online workout party that you won’t want to miss! Check your eligibilityand RSVP here. 

The Journey To 30 Challenge Activity No. 19: Take Any SilverSneakers Class or Try a Farmer’s Carry  

Today’s activity is split between SilverSneakers members and non-members.   

Eligible members get access to SilverSneakers LIVE online classes, On-Demand videos, and thousands of fitness locations and classes. Not sure if you have access? Quickly check your eligibility now.  

As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.  

Get and stay fit with SilverSneakers! Choose from dozens of different Community classes, visit a participating fitness location, or view the current schedule of SilverSneakers LIVE online classes.    

For Members: Take Any SilverSneakers Class   

It could be a SilverSneakers LIVE online class from home, an in-person or Community class, or a workout at a participating gym near you.   

For Non-Members: Try a Farmer’s Carry

All you’ll need is a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells. Start with a light weight that allows you to walk without leaning to one side or the other

If you don’t have weights handy, you can also use household objects, such as two shopping bags filled with books (be sure each bag weighs the same), food cans, or bottled water.  

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How to do it: 

  1. Grab a pair of kettlebells (or dumbbells), and let them hang naturally at arm’s length next to your sides, palms facing in.
  2. Walk forward for as long as you can (aim for 60 seconds), keeping an upright torso and not allowing the weight to dump into your low back.
  3. Imagine a string is connected to the top of your head and pulling you toward the ceiling.  
  4. If you can walk for longer than 60 seconds, try using a heavier weight. 

Once you feel comfortable doing the basic Farmer’s Carry for 60 seconds, you can switch up the exercise. Hold the weights at shoulder level, for example, or use just one weight and switch it from one arm to the other without tilting your body.

Read The Most Deceiving (and Effective!) Exercise of All Time to find instructions on these and more variations.

Take Your Favorite SilverSneakers Classes Online!  

SilverSneakers members can access live fitness classes and wellness workshops through SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest schedule and RSVP for classes here.  

Not a member? If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers — at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here. 

Not eligible for SilverSneakers? You can still get 200+ free SilverSneakers On-Demand videos and stay in touch with us by creating your online account.

Find out if your health plan already includes the SilverSneakers benefit.  CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY