Today’s Older Adults Are More Dedicated to Fitness Than Ever - The Missourian: Features People

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Today’s Older Adults Are More Dedicated to Fitness Than Ever

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 6:32 pm | Updated: 4:55 pm, Thu Jul 3, 2014.

Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) SilverSneakers® Fitness, the nation’s leading exercise program exclusively designed for older adults, announced the results of its 2013 Annual Member Survey.

More than 35,000 people between the ages of 65 and 114 and across 50 states responded to the survey, which measures participants’ fitness activities, health outcomes and health attitudes. Results revealed a growing trend in fitness-conscious active adults achieving positive health outcomes, higher quality of life and fulfillment at every age.

According to the survey, SilverSneakers participants are seeking fitness options in record numbers, with nearly 46 percent joining a fitness center for the first time as a result of their SilverSneakers membership.

Additionally, participants are more active than ever before, with 82 percent enjoying aerobic activity three or more times per week, including cardio, circuit, yoga, step and spin.

The survey also revealed the significant link between fitness and socialization, as nearly 41 percent of participants report they attend class to socialize. In fact, nearly 60 percent of members participate in classes with a friend, demonstrating the value of complete emotional and physical well-being to older adults.

In addition, 50 percent of SilverSneakers Fitness participants cite an improvement in chronic disease conditions, ranging from high blood pressure and heart disease to stroke and diabetes.

Participants noted a 59 percent improvement in arthritis pain, a 49 percent improvement in limb numbness and a 59 percent improvement in lower back pain. These outcomes contribute to 60 percent of SilverSneakers participants rating their health as “excellent” or “very good,” in comparison to only 47 percent of peer respondents to Medicare’s Annual Health Outcomes Survey.

“The Annual Member Survey provides deep insights into the health and well-being of today’s active older adults, and we are seeing an unprecedented dedication to physical health through fitness,” said Joy Powell, president of Healthways Senior Solutions Division. “Participants made it clear that they are more passionate and dedicated to their health than any previous generation.”

SilverSneakers Fitness was founded in 1992 and is the nation’s leading exercise program exclusively designed for older adults. Today, the program serves more than 11 million eligible members in more than 11,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide.

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