New Year’s Challenge: Make the Most of Your Workouts

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Amp up your workout! Learn how a boost of intensity can help you maximize every workout experience without wiping you out. 

Keep up with the Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong You Challenge here and on our Facebook page. 

Welcome to the last video of the week! Before you get too far into the Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong You Challenge, it’s a good time to learn easy ways to know when you’re ready to step things up a bit — or dial down your workout efforts.   

Upping your effort doesn’t mean you have to push yourself too hard. A study in the journal BMC Public Health looked at roughly 9,000 people over age 60, and it compared the health benefits that come with mild, moderate, and vigorous exercise.   

Do you think you need to work out the hardest to reap the most rewards? You don’t. The researchers found that it was the moderate level of exercise that offered the most advantages in healthy aging, including preventing chronic disease.   

It’s good to remember that the current U.S. Department of Health Physical Activity Guidelines call for 150-minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic (aka cardio) exercise each week. SilverSneakers classes are a fun way to hit your weekly target.  

Get and stay fit with SilverSneakers! Choose from dozens of different Community classes, visit a participating fitness location, or join one of 20+ SilverSneakers LIVE online classes. Check your eligibility here. 

5 Tips to Know When to Push Yourself 

Not sure what moderate intensity looks like for you? Fortunately, you don’t have to figure that out alone. Today’s activity has SilverSneakers trainer Shannon Thigpen giving you quick and easy tips to learn how to boost the intensity of your workout in a way that’s tailored to your needs.   

As always, safety is key. Get your doctor’s OK before beginning a new exercise program. If you have a chronic condition (including osteoporosis), balance issues, or injuries, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.    

Press play on the video above to follow along with Shannon as she demonstrates five tips to decide if it’s time to dial your intensity up or down a notch — and the best ways to do so. 

Subscribe to our newsletter
It's quick and easy. You could be one of the 13 million people who are eligible.
Already a member? Click to discover our 15,000+ participating locations.

Follow Us
  • Tip #1: On a scale of 1 to 10, aim to work out at a level 4 or 5 (moderate effort).
  • Tip #2: Bigger, faster movements will raise the intensity of your efforts, while smaller, slower movements will lower the intensity.
  • Tip #3: Remember to go at your own pace — even if the instructor is going hard.
  • Tip #4: Modify your range of motion as needed. For example, if the instructor is leading exercises above your head, but that strains your shoulder, you should modify the movement to a point thats comfortable for you.
  • Tip #5: Ask the instructor to check your form. Poor form can lead to injuries!

Ready to put your knowledge into action? Here are two SilverSneakers classes to try:  

Zumba Gold. This 45-minute class is good for all fitness levels. You’ll learn easy-to-follow Zumba choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion, and coordination. It’s offered both in-person at participating fitness locations (review the gym schedule for times) and online through SilverSneakers LIVE. View the schedule and RSVP here.  

Cardio Mix. This 45-minute online class is appropriate for intermediate exercisers. You’ll elevate your heart rate with low-impact cardio movements and options to safely progress to a higher-intensity workout. View the schedule and RSVP here.  

Check Your SilverSneakers Eligibility Instantly 

SilverSneakers members can go to thousands of gyms and fitness locations across the nation, plus take SilverSneakers LIVE online classes that are designed for seniors of all levels. 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 you're eligible for SilverSneakers, the fitness benefit that's  included with many Medicare Advantage plans. CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY