Why is the parking lot so full?
Who hits the gym first thing every morning at Rainier Health & Fitness? In addition to weight lifters and treadmill runners squeezing in a workout before hitting the office, we clock in an average of 70 SilverSneakers® members most weekday mornings. In fact, we have close to 300 SilverSneakers® total who attend our daily senior classes designed just for them. That's why between 8:45 AM and 10:30 AM, our parking lot is PACKED thanks to these popular classes!
How did our SilverSneakers® classes get started?
Back in 2009, we began offering a SilverSneakers® class at 8:00 and 9:00 AM every other weekday morning (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). The classes grew and some participants wanted a more challenging workout, so in 2012 we added SilverSneakers® II classes as well. However, our seniors wanted more. They wanted classes every morning! So our trainers added SilverSneakers® yoga on Thursday mornings, a class that improves seniors' flexibility while utilizing a chair, if needed, for support. Then on Tuesday mornings, we added a core strengthening class that includes a fun but challenging circuit.
"I feel it's really been good for my flexibility," said Mary Hunter in our Member of the Month interview. "I am stronger. I can really tell it in yoga class when we do the moves where we have to really sustain our core and I can hold things longer." Other members have channeled the endurance they are building into new realms of fitness. RHF member, Dori, for example, has trained for several half marathons.
In addition to helping older adults stay strong and healthy, our senior classes have created a sense of community. Some participants go out for breakfast or even a brisk walk together after attending class. Bob and Mary Hunter noted, "We've connected to people who live in the broader South Seattle, South Rainier neighborhood and gotten to know the neighborhood and the people here much better than we would have if we weren't coming to this facility."