Silversneakers on the move

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pearl River Community College’s Wellness Center provides a “life-changing” workout for participants of the SilverSneakers adult program.

SilverSneakers Instructor Kay Kammer offers a potentially free chance for older adults to stay active while having fun in the process.

“We all have a great time every session. We talk and laugh but also get a good workout that helps keep the SliverSneakers healthy and happy,” said Kammer.

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SilverSneakers is a program for older adults that want to improve their overall quality of life, strength and social aspects.

This low impact workout does not include cardio, Kammer said. However, SilverSneakers participants have the option to get an additional workout in before or after the program.

“Some of the participants use the PRCC Wellness Center before we have our workout. They run or walk on the treadmills and use the machines which really shows how important it is for them to be active,” Kammer said.

Her oldest participant, Iris Simoneaux, is 90-years-old, and still moves like she is in her 30s, Kammer said.

“I enjoy all of it. I have been doing this program for four years,” Simoneaux said. “When you get up in age you got to do stuff like this. If I didn’t, I would be way down. It keeps you going and puts a smile on your face.”

Simoneaux said she encourages her children and grandchildren to remain active, no matter what kind of exercise it is.

“I love to dance. Whenever the music comes on during this workout I dance the whole time. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I even met my husband dancing,” Simoneaux said.

The benefits are endless for senior citizens who remain active, including better balance, range of motion, quality of life, more strength, sleeping habits and lower blood pressure.

“I challenge anyone to go find a 90-year-old that can touch her toes and move like Iris can. If you don’t use these muscles, you will lose their functions. I love instructing this program because it helps these lovely people have a better quality of life,” Kammer said.

A big part of the 50-minute program is social. Kammer said most of the participants become best friends after joining the SilverSneakers program.

During the summer, the program is offered every Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the PRCC Wellness Center. In the fall, classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. No matter the season, classes can be free of charge in a couple ways.

First, the online admissions application must be completed on the PRCC website. Also, an official transcript of the institution the applicant attended, high school or college, can be emailed or e-scripted to receive free admission to the Wellness Center. However, applicants must be a Mississippi resident to qualify for free membership, so if applicants went to school outside of Mississippi, they must provide proof of residency. After that, applicants can come to the Wellness Center and fill out a membership form.

Alternately, a Wellness Center membership will cost $60 per semester, or about every three months.