SilverSneakers LIVE trainer Andrea Valmore shares the benefits of shaking up your usual exercise routine. Here’s why you should do it.
With more than 40 years’ experience under her belt, SilverSneakers LIVE trainer Andrea Valmore knows a thing or two about how the body works. She earned a degree in kinesiology — the study of the mechanics of body movement — at The University of California, Los Angeles. As she approached graduation, something happened that inspires her to this day: She got a front-row seat at the 1984 Olympics.
It was a case of perfect timing. Valmore had been working with student athletes for four years. “I could tell how a particular runner’s gait made them faster or slower,” she says. “I could pin-point who could or couldn’t maintain a pace because maybe his body alignment was off.” She got to observe human kinesiology in an Olympic-level setting.
She also got to exercise her social and motivational skills as social director for her dorm, which housed athletes and guests during the Games.
“It was my job to make them feel at home,” she recalls. Making people feel welcome is a job she’s maintained in some capacity ever since — as a gym co-owner (with her mom), a Zumba instructor, and a faculty member for the local junior college’s older-adult fitness program. (All while working full-time in law enforcement before retiring at age 55.)
Now, she’s been helping older adults find their fitness groove in SilverSneakers classes for the past 15 years. Valmore teaches both LIVE and in-person classes, including Zumba Gold, SilverSneakers Classic, SilverSneakers Circuit and SilverSneakers Yoga.
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Why You Should Shake Up Your Exercise Routine
Valmore is a huge advocate for varying your regular exercise routine for maximum benefits. It’s something she’s enjoyed throughout her life, and she sees more and more SilverSneakers members eager to mix up their workouts too.
“Those who try new things and then start doing them regularly realize they’re getting a benefit,” Valmore explains. “My job is to get them to feel something and to acknowledge it.”
Here are some reasons she says you should mix up your workout routine.
It’s easy. If you’re new to exercise, start with Express classes, which last for 15 minutes. You’ll get a feel for it, it will help build your confidence, and it’s not hard to fit into your day. Plus, you can really focus on a specific move or area of your body. The only downside? You might find yourself wanting to do a full class next time.
You can get both cardio and strength training. When you vary the classes you take, you can create your own “circuit” that works both your heart and your muscles. For example, if you add a Seated Strength express class to your regular Zumba class this week, you’ll reap the benefits of both cardio and strength training.
Your bones will thank you. Muscles are attached to the bone with tendons, and the resistance they create when you work them helps strengthen your skeleton. The more tendons and muscles you move, and the more different ways you work them, the better it is for your bones.
New kinds of stress are good for you. Stretching a muscle in a new way or adding small hand weights to a move can have serious benefits. For example, if you rarely stretch, just doing a short, gentle stretch class can make a world of difference. Small adjustments to your “normal” can yield big rewards, fitness-wise.
How SilverSneakers Can Help You Try New Workouts
Now that you know why it’s good to shake things up from time to time, the next step is to put together a plan of action. Valmore points out that taking full advantage of a SilverSneakers membership is the easiest way to do so.
“Commit to trying one new class this week — something you’ve never tried,” she says. “And then try another new class next week, and so on.”
One of the advantages of stepping into a new SilverSneakers class, online or in person, is that you know you’ll be walking into a welcome environment. The members are friendly, and the instructors are trained to help you find your comfort zone. They’ll break down the steps of each new move so you can learn the proper form for a great workout.
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Learn more about the different SilverSneakers fitness classes here.
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