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SilverSneakers helps couple get healthier together

A stroke left Mike Scott in the hospital unable to move the entire left side of his body. But just a few months later he was hanging sheet rock on a mission trip with his church.

Mike, a BlueCross Medicare Advantage member, credits SilverSneakers with his rapid recovery. Just two days after his stroke, Mike was discharged from the hospital, and just three days after that, he was back in his SilverSneakers yoga class.

“I worked in construction my whole life, but after two years of SilverSneakers I have more mobility than I’ve ever had,” Mike says.

“My arms, legs and breathing are all strong, and I don’t get hurt or tired. SilverSneakers has made my body so strong that I was able to bounce back quickly.”

Mike’s wife, Barbara, also attributes SilverSneakers with helping make drastic improvements to her health.

Losing weight, building strength

Two years ago, Barbara weighed 208 pounds and hated seeing her reflection in a mirror. But she knew closing her eyes wasn’t an option. Like her husband, Barbara faced what she saw head-on.

She had tried counting calories and other weight-loss methods for years, but it wasn’t until she enrolled in several SilverSneakers FLEX classes that she began to see the results she wanted. She did yoga and cardio, as well as strength and balance classes.

“SilverSneakers was a Godsend to me,” she says. “I was 65 pounds overweight, and it kept going up and up and up. I knew I had to do something, so getting healthy became my number one concern.”

At first, Barbara could only last about 10 minutes in cardio class before having to stop or take a break, but she pushed on and now rocks the entire hour-long class without stopping. She has dropped 65 pounds and says she feels as fit and strong as she was in her 20s.

She is slimmer and healthier and says the whole transformation has improved her quality of life.

“Before, I couldn’t even scrub the tub for 10 minutes, but now I’m exercising for two hours straight,” Barbara says. “You can imagine how much better I feel.”

Barbara Scott, left, stands with Deborah Walter, a SilverSneakers trainer, after receiving the Swanson Award for her dedication and devotion to her health. Scott lost more than 65 pounds through SilverSneakers fitness programs. (Photo: John Graeber)

Fitness benefits for all Medicare Advantage members

Through SilverSneakers, BlueCross Medicare plan members have access to more than 13,000 participating gyms and fitness centers across the country. SilverSneakers membership is available to members at no additional cost as a benefit of their BlueCross Medicare health plan. For Mike, it was yoga classes three days a week and strength training two days a week that gave him the resiliency to bounce back quickly.

A SilverSneakers membership is included in all BlueAdvantage health plans, and Mike says the great thing about SilverSneakers is that they will work with members to provide exercise plans that are right for them, even if they haven’t been physically active in the past.

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