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The Many Benefits of SilverSneakers

Terry Anderson

Retired pastor Dr. Leo Patterson was a regional semi-finalist in the 2014 SilverSneakers Richard L. Swanson Award. This award honors SilverSneakers members whose healthy behavior made a difference in the member’s life, and also inspired others. Leo and his wife Linda submitted this story.


Dr. Leo Patterson and his wife, Linda

Dixon, Illinois
September 2014

On a freezing cold December day in 2013, I learned about the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program. I could scarcely believe this terrific opportunity! As soon as I told my wife about it, we both signed up. Winter had been brutal that year! We were prevented from taking our usual long evening walks around the neighborhood due to the cold winds and snow-covered walkways. Soon, both of us were swimming and using the hot tub at the YMCA. I also enjoyed walking on the treadmill, and using other equipment in the gym. It was amazing how quickly I began losing weight around my waist and feeling toned all over.

I lost several pounds and strengthened muscles. As a result, I enjoy sound sleep almost every night. I feel healthy and invigorated. Even better, no more visits to the chiropractor! My wife's back and hip have been giving her grief, so her doctor prescribed physical therapy for her back. Linda progressed more rapidly with her physical therapy by swimming in the pool and stretching her muscles in the hot tub.

We also enjoy seeing our friends at the YMCA, and the staff there is so friendly and accommodating. Without fail, the person at the front desk greets us warmly whenever we arrive and depart. That makes us feel even better about our visits.

Our son has a membership at a community recreation center that recognizes SilverSneakers. During our last visit, we were able to enjoy the pool and all the facilities there for free.

I am still walking three miles daily at the YMCA. My wife is scheduled for a new hip later this month. Swimming is still her favorite form of exercise. She is toned and sleeps well as a result. It had been so frustrating to try walking outside in all kinds of bad weather. Throughout the seasons, we will continue appreciating this wonderful opportunity known as SilverSneakers.

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Photo of smiling woman holding small weights