Financial, physical, and mental health are all crucial for the well-being and longevity of seniors. Daily exercise and meditation can improve health, lengthen your lifespan, and help avoid hospitals (and hospital bills). Therefore, Medicare recipients may be excited to hear about a new partnership between Medicare’s SilverSneakers, Apple Fitness+, and select insurers.
Fitness buffs can find thousands of workouts for the body and brain on Apple Fitness+. The SilverSneakers and Apple Plus partnership gets you moving, saves on gym expenses, and builds muscle and meditation skills—without leaving the house.
What is SilverSneakers on Apple Plus?
This new partnership allows SilverSneakers members enrolled in specific health insurers’ plans to use Apple Fitness+ membership for free.
However, not all health insurers offer this program. While only Aetna Medicare Advantage enrollees can access Apple Fitness+ through SilverSneakers so far, other insurance companies may soon join the innovative partnership.
To activate a free Apple Fitness+ account, eligible SilverSneakers members sign into their SilverSneakers GO app or SilverSneakers.com account. The member can renew the Apple Fitness+ account every three months at no cost.
What is SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is a no-cost fitness program tailored to older Americans’ mental and physical needs. This program provides community fitness classes, fitness membership discounts, and online workouts to Medicare-eligible adults.
SilverSneakers is a bonus included in specific Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans. However, SilverSneakers isn’t available to Original Medicare enrollees without a supplemental plan.
More than 18 million Americans are eligible for SilverSneakers, and the program is offered at more than 15,000 gyms, clubs, and community centers throughout the US. Classes focus on fitness, balance, dance, strength, yoga, tai chi, body-mind awareness, and more. Many classes are developed specifically to address aging adults. For example, you might find seated workouts or workouts targeting balance or avoiding falls.
SilverSneakers also offers a variety of remote fitness classes that you can participate in from the comfort of your home. The addition of Apple Fitness+ adds countless opportunities for remote fitness that previously may not have been available to senior citizens.
How Do Remote Fitness Classes Work?
Remote fitness classes are typically pre-recorded, on-demand sessions that you can stream from your television, tablet, computer, or any other mobile device. You can play, pause, or stop classes as you follow the leader’s instructions on the screen. Users watch and take part in these sessions anytime, anywhere.
Remote fitness classes can also be live-streamed. With live classes, you’ll likely need to RSVP or reserve a spot and log on for the scheduled session using your phone or laptop’s camera and microphone to follow along.
For example, SilverSneakers offers both on-demand and live remote fitness classes through the program’s app and online site. The live classes don’t use your camera—but you can join a group chat if you wish.
What is Apple Plus, and How Do I Use It?
Apple Fitness Plus (often written as Apple Fitness+) is subscription-based fitness programming. Users find the programming in the Fitness app on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Apple TV devices. Without Medicare coverage, an Apple Fitness+ subscription costs $9.99 a month, or $79.99 annually, and can be shared with up to five family members.
Here are the requirements to use Apple Fitness+ without a watch:
|iPhone 8 or later||iOS 16.1 or later|
|Apple TV||tvOS 14.3 or later|
|iPad||iPadOS 14.3 or later|
Do I Need an Apple Watch to Access It?
No, you don’t need an Apple Watch to use Apple Fitness+. But, using a watch, along with Apple Fitness+, can provide helpful information. For example, the watch screen shows your heart rate alongside the workout. Using this information, you can stay within your target heart range. U
Users can also pair Apple Watch and Bluetooth headphones for a phone-free walking experience or meditation experience. Some meditation experiences may also be enhanced by owning an Apple Watch.
What Kind of Programs Can I Access?
Apple Fitness+ presents 3,000 pre-recorded, on-demand video and audio classes to subscribers. These classes last 5 to 45 minutes and are categorized into 11 different workout types:
- Treadmill run
- Mindful cooldown
Some workout programs need equipment such as weights, a stationary bicycle, or a mat, while others require only your passion to get moving.
Another option is audio-guided walks or runs that feature motivational audio to accompany and encourage you through the session. Some of these workouts even feature notable celebrities accompanying you like Billie Jean King, Sugar Ray Leonard, or Dolly Parton.
Meditation and Mindfulness
The Fitness+ app’s video and audio meditations offer themes like gratitude, resilience, creativity, and relationships. These meditations relieve stress and boost brain health through guided sessions, lasting 5-10 minutes on average. The meditation sessions help you connect your breath and body while finding a comfortable posture.