Are you looking for the best gym to join as a senior citizen? Or are you simply curious about what the different benefits of joining a gym at this stage in your life might be? Either way, you're in luck. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Senior Citizen gyms – from the health benefits they offer to the different types of programs and trainers available. We'll also take a look at the costs involved, so that you can make an informed decision about which gym is right for you.
Physical Benefits of a Gym Membership
The most obvious benefit of joining a senior citizen gym is that it helps promote physical health and well-being. Exercise has been proven to help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of falls, strengthen muscles and bones, as well as improve balance and coordination.
Exercising with other people has its own unique set of benefits beyond just physical health – namely improved mental well-being. Research has shown that exercising regularly with social support can reduce depression levels in older adults.
Socializing through regular meetups at the gym provides seniors with connection and motivation while also providing them an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime.
Working out in a group setting or with a "lifting buddy" in the weight room provides someone to hold you accountable and keep you motivated, even when motivation is hard to come by.
Types of Gyms and Services Available
When it comes to senior citizen gyms, there are a variety of different types and services available depending on the gym's focus. Some might be more specialized in areas such as weightlifting or yoga while others may offer more generalized classes such as aerobics and cardio.
The type of services you will receive at a gym will depend on the type of membership you select, which can range from basic to premium memberships. Basic memberships will typically include access to the gym's facilities, while more expensive memberships may include additional benefits such as personal training sessions or specialized classes.
In addition, some gyms may offer separate programs and services specifically designed for seniors such as low-impact exercise classes, balance training, and even nutritional counseling.
Most important is to find a gym with the services you are interested in. If you are unsure of what you are looking to do, start with a lower level/ cheaper membership and upgrade later.
Regional and National Chains
Anytime Fitness is an international chain of over 4500 gyms around the world. They offer a range of membership plans that can fit within any budget. Anytime Fitness is known for its 24/7 access and convenient locations, making it a great option for senior citizens who are looking for an affordable way to stay active.
They will provide a free assessment to develop a workout plan that is tailored for seniors. They also offer group classes, personal training sessions, and a variety of additional services. You have the flexibility to train alone or with the help of trainers.
Try them out for 7 days for free. Anytime Fitness accepts the SilverSneakers Program for Medicare recipients.
Planet Fitness is another large chain of over 2400 gyms worldwide. They offer a range of membership plans that include access to all locations, free amenities like classes and Wi-Fi, and discounts on personal training sessions. Planet Fitness does not offer senior citizen discounts, but monthly membership costs are very low, starting at only $10 a month.
They have lots of machines, free weights, and cardio machines for its members. This gym has a friendly atmosphere and a no-judgment policy, making it a great place for seniors who want to start their fitness journey without fear.
The YMCA or "Y" is a nationwide organization that provides a range of programs and services for seniors. They offer senior-specific fitness classes, such as low-impact aerobics and yoga, as well as access to gym equipment, swimming pools and other amenities. YMCA memberships are usually affordable but membership fees may vary from one location to another. You can also get a discounted membership if you are on SNAP.
Their range of programs go beyond fitness. They also offer community programs and social activities that are specifically designed for senior citizens.
The Y also offers discounts on membership for low-income seniors, as well as a 50 plus program specifically designed to help older adults achieve their fitness goals. Senior citizens are also eligible for discounted rates on classes and other services.
Senior citizens may also be eligible for a free membership with the SilverSneakers program through their Medicare plan.
Local commercial gyms, similar to Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness, offer a variety of amenities comparable to the facilities found at their national counterparts.
You can also find specialized gyms that focus on powerlifting, group classes for cardio, introductory muscle strength programs, yoga etc. They have classes designed for beginners all the way up to advanced classes.
Moreover, as a local gym, they may frequently run senior discounts and special programs for seniors or people with less income due to the flexibility in management decisions that don't have to be approved on a country-wide level.
Local Community Centers
Your local community center may have exercise and fitness classes that offer older individuals many of the same activities they enjoyed in their younger years.
Most gyms in community centers will offer cardio equipment, areas for lifting weights and trainers for a small additional cost per session.
These centers are typically funded by local governments or charities, and usually offer senior discounts on membership fees. There may also be free options available for certain group classes, depending on your location.
Additionally, community centers often provide additional services such as mental health counseling, nutritional programs, and social activities. These additional services can provide seniors with the opportunity to stay engaged in their community.
Additional Ways for a Low Cost or Free Gym Memberships
SilverSneakers is a nationwide fitness program for Medicare beneficiaries that offers free access to a network of over 16,000 gyms and fitness centers across the country. The program also provides members with access to online workouts, classes, and community events.
They also have an app to track your exercise program results.
You can get a free SilverSneakers membership through certain Medicare plans if you are eligible. Check your eligibility here.
Renew Active by UnitedHealthcare
With Renew Active® by UnitedHealthcare®, you'll be able to stay active, centered and in contact - whether it’s from the comfort of your own home or at a gym. And the best part is that this comprehensive fitness program comes with no extra charge! The included components are:
- A free gym membership at a gym near you.
- Access to over 23,000 gyms nationwide.
- On-demand workout videos
- Mental health and community events
- Additional health and nutrition resources
Health Insurance Benefits
Check your Medicare or health insurance plan if you are 65 or older for any benefits related to gym memberships. Many insurance plans offer discounts on membership fees, special programs, and even free access to gyms in the network.
It's important to check with your healthcare provider and make sure you understand what is included in your plan so that you can take advantage of all available benefits.
These benefits can be a great way to stay active and healthy while saving money on expensive gym memberships.
Additional Way to Save Money for a Gym Membership
Did you know, as a senior you may qualify for free cell phone service through the Federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program?
Over 40 million households are eligible for this free service.
You may qualify if you participate in certain government assistance programs or through your income level.
To learn how to eliminate your monthly cell phone bill, check out EASY Wireless.
Time to Get Started
Joining a senior citizen gym is a great way for older adults to stay healthy physically and mentally while simultaneously taking advantage of cost-effective membership rates. Whether you’re looking for increased strength or greater well-being through socialization – joining a gym offers many unique benefits perfect for your individual needs!