Y now offers Silver Sneakers for seniors

Approximately 74 senior citizens are participating in a relative new activity in the area and word is beginning to get out about it.

It’s a sometime-challenging, but fun and beneficial, program for the participants.
It has a rather intriguing and mysterious label, but it’s highly approved of and encouraged by the government, and even your physician, friends and family would be in favor of your participation in this fast-growing program. And you may be able to participate in this program that improves your quality of life without any out-of-pocket costs.
Meet Ben Frazier of the YMCA, located in Vandalia at 710 Rock Island Ave. and reached by phone at 283-125, and he, or his associates, can give the information to answer all the above questions … and more.
Silver Sneakers
Ben Frazier, the wellness and fitness director at the YMC, explained that Silver Sneakers is a wellness program that is offered to many Medicare, Medicaid and supplement insurance plans, and is the nation’s leading fitness program designed for older adults.
Silver Sneakers is strictly for seniors, and one out of five people age 65 or above is eligible for a Silver Sneakers membership.”
Physical activity helps with senior adults’ control of balance, with posture, and the Silver Sneakers program provides that help with fun, energizing activities in an easily accessible, clean and attractive building and a safe, comfortable environment, with program-trained advisers to help you get started.  
A Silver Sneakers membership card can also be used at other places that have the program, which is convenient on vacation or other trips.
Ben, although only 25 years old, is very knowledgeable and informed about his profession. He has studied and worked in his chosen profession, and is enthusiastic about Silver Sneakers.
He has been involved in the YMCA organization for more than years.
“I did my internship in the Mattoon YMCA after college,” he said. In  October, 2013, he came to Vandalia, bringing his expertise and experience to the Fayette County Y programs.
“I’m trying to take this place to new levels, doing what I can, doing what that motivation from college gave me, and kind of giving Vandalia a little touch of my expertise,” he said.
The classes are growing and the members continue to return, a sure indication that the program is working and that members are happy with the program.
The Classes are….
… led by Frazier and Lynn Sefton, and are different in that Lynn leads an aerobics-type class. The classes are scheduled at different times and on different days, which helps accommodate the members’ schedules and availability.
Not Strenuous
“We do kind of do modified exercises geared towards the senior population,” Frazier said.
“We set up some chairs, have balls, bands and dumbbells.
“We have a wide demographic of seniors,” he said. “We have advanced and beginners, and we have two stroke survivors and they are doing really well.”
Looking in on a class gives an indication of the camaraderie and enjoyment that the participants were sharing during the exercises while working out.
“It’s not like you are running on a hamster wheel for hours,” Ben said. “We try to make it as enjoyable as possible while also providing some benefit to the participants.”
“They keep coming back – that is a great thing. The program has far exceeded out expectations”.
“As the participants keep coming back, and have shared it with their friends and families, the classes have grown,” Ben said.
And the best thing about it is
“To do the class that myself or Lynn teaches, you don’t have to be a Silver Sneaker to try the class.
“Just pop in and try out the class – if you like it, come back; if you don’t, that’s fine.
“The only benefit is, if you are a Silver Sneaker, your (Y) membership is paid for,” Frazier said.
For more information, call 618-283-1258 or stop by the YMCA Fitness Center.

Ben Frazier

Leave a Comment