THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –A new fitness program in Thomasville is helping older adults take control of their health.
The National Silver Sneakers program is being offered at Thomasville's YMCA.
The program encourages senior citizens to participate in several types of physical activity to lower their risk of heart disease and improve their overall health.
They dance, swim, and strength-train. And all of these fitness fanatics are senior citizens.
"They say you lose it if you don't use it," warns Kathy Moore, a Silver Sneakers participant.
Another participant, Guy Jordan, agrees, "You look around at people my age, some of them can't hardly walk to the mailbox."
But not these seniors. They're striving to become fit and fabulous through the Silver Sneakers fitness program.
"All my life I worked hard but it's not the same," Jordan explains. "You start using some of the muscles in here that you don't use on a job cause it's a routine."
"Everything I take is so much fun. And it's surprising because you don't realize that you're exercising," says Moore.
The fitness level of these senior citizens is not to be underestimated. This group alone has been at it for thirty minutes straight with no break.
Some participants had reservations about becoming physically active at an older age.
"I've had 2 knee replacements," Moore explains.
"Oh, my wife has preached that ever since I've been going. Oh, you're gonna kill yourself, you're gonna kill yourself," jokes Jordan.
But the instructors here make sure everyone is in the proper class for their fitness level. They also supervise proper warm-ups, stretches, cool downs and even periodic heart rate checks.
"Your body will tell you when it's time to back off a little," Jordan believes. "But just because you get a little pain or a little short of breath don't mean you can back off the next day."
And by pushing themselves, some participants move on to more intense programs..inspiring others along the way.
"We've got a grandmother doing our boot camp. And she's inspired her granddaughter because she said hey, if my grandma can do boot camp, I can do boot camp, too," says the YMCA's Fitness & Wellness director, Kim Smith.
She says it's never too late to get into shape.
The folks at the Y tell us most insurance companies are paying for seniors to sign up for the program.
For more information on the Silver Sneakers program in Thomasville call (229) 226-3446.