Metro Parks partners with Healthways SilverSneakers program [Fitness and health]

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Healthways SilverSneakers, a leading social support and exercise program available to Medicare health plan members and group retirees nationwide, is now available for Louisville seniors at four of Louisville's Metro Parks Community Centers, in addition to other already participating fitness centers.

In the program's new partnership with Metro Parks, local seniors can now engage in SilverSneakers' "innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and socially-oriented programming" with little to no additional cost (other than any applicable premiums), to help stay healthy and active.

Founded in 1992, SilverSneakers was designed exclusively for older adults, and is great for beginning a path to fitness, losing a few pounds, improving balance, and managing many chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.

"We're very pleased to host the SilverSneakers program in our community centers, where focusing on the overall health and fitness of senior citizens has been a longtime goal of ours," Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz said. "Metro Parks is always trying to serve the needs of our older residents, and the SilverSneakers program gives us one more tool with which we can do that."

Account Manager Kim Dues says Louisville is home to 24,000 SilverSneakers members so far, and they're averaging 6.3 exercise days per month where they're getting fit, having fun, and making new friends. The participation of four community centers will only make it easier for eligible Louisvillians to take part in the program.

In Mayor Jerry Abramson's announcement of the Metro Parks' parternship with the program, he said, "The SilverSneakers program is a great way for seniors to remain active, and also perfect for those folks who are looking for a simple and fun way to begin an exercise program. I encourage everyone who is eligible to get on the program and get on the path to better health."

Seniors who are not eligible through their Medicare programs can still participate for a small fee at more than 20 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, including Metro Parks Community Centers. To find out if you're eligible, contact your health plan provider. Find out more about SilverSneakers at SilverSneakers.com, or by calling 888-423-4632.

SilverSneakers fitness classes are offered at the following Metro Parks Community Centers:

Flaget Senior Center, 502-574-2831 - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Beechmont Community Center, 502-361-5484 - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.m to 11:00 a.m.
California Community Center, 502-574-2658 - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to Noon
Sun Valley Community Center, 502-937-8802 - Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Louisville Metro Parks currently operates 14 community centers all over Louisville offering a wide variety of activities and classes for all ages. Most community centers can also be reserved for meeting space or private gym time. Visit LouisvilleKY.gov/MetroParks/CommunityCenters for more information.

Contact the writer at rachel@hurdanger.com.

Image: Courtesy Healthways SilverSneakers

About Rachel Hurd Anger
Rachel is a freelance writer who enjoys running in our metro parks, drinking local beer, and raising suburban chickens. Most recently she has contributed to a special edition of Chickens magazine.
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