We want to publicize the fact that we offer FREE senior fitness classes in local communities around the country.
As the Director of Marketing for Live 2 B Healthy®, I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can reach new audiences, and equally importantly, to provide them information in a convenient manner. One challenge I am facing at this moment is how to spread the word to the broader senior community that we offer classes in senior communities across the US and that these classes are FREE to all seniors. As in, you don’t need to be a resident in a senior community in order to join in on one of our senior fitness classes.
Study after study emphasizes the importance of maintaining physical fitness into our senior years. After all, we are living longer – why would we not want to live those extra years being as independent and productive as possible? There are many activities that enrich our lives – things like playing with our grandchildren, traveling, maintaining our living quarters, walking our dogs and being with friends and family. The ability to continue to do these things into our later years is dependent upon maintenance of a fit physical condition. While we expect to have to decrease the strenuous activities ( very few seniors are still running marathons, but if its important to them, many do find a way to continue), but simple things like walking up the steps to our grand-daughter’s front doorstep will also slip away from us if we don’t work to maintain our fitness.
For those who choose to “age in place” (usually their own homes), there are wonderful services available to help with things like medications, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. And these services certainly do help seniors stay in their homes longer. But, are these seniors getting the exercise and socialization that are also a vital need? Often, especially in the colder climates like where we live in Minnesota, simple activities like walking around the block can be hazardous during certain weather conditions. And, if “working out” to an exercise video was a difficult thing to do in your 30’s and 40’s, do we really expect it is going to be easier in our 70’s and 80’s? Anyone who has ever attended any type of group fitness class – at any age – knows that the motivation is much easier to find in a group setting than in the comfort of your home, with the sofa sitting there all seductively inviting.
Living on a fixed retirement income often does not allow for the additional cost of a gym membership, and even if it does, exercising among a group of much younger people can be intimidating to many seniors. So, there are many barriers to seniors to get the exercise that we all know we need as we age.
Live 2 B Healthy® provides a solution to this dilemma. We currently conduct classes in almost 300 senior living communities across the country. The vast majority of these communities recognize the importance of maintaining physical fitness throughout a lifetime and have agreed to provide these classes FREE not only to their residents, but to seniors in the outside community. That’s right – seniors who do not live in the communities are invited to attend Live 2 B Healthy® classes, FREE of charge, as often as they like. Most of our communities welcome the opportunity to provide this benefit to their surrounding community. Outside seniors will get the exercise and the socialization that they require to maintain their independence.
So, I have been considering my challenge lately on how I can spread the word about this awesome FREE service. My go-to method is Facebook, and I do try to post information about new classes and our class schedules on my personal and professional pages as often as possible. We also partner with SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit, and have our class schedules posted on their websites, so if seniors have either of those coverages on their insurance, they have access to the information. Of course, we publish an online class schedule that is searchable by zip code. But, yet, it seems like we must only be reaching a small percentage of the people who could benefit from this information.
I recently did a Google search for senior event calendars, and have found that very few cities maintain online schedules such as this, and those that do, tend to be very cumbersome to post ongoing events on.
I am currently trying to connect with as many home health care companies as I am able, just to let them and their employees know that this is an absolutely FREE service that they can refer their clients to. After all, we have the same goal of keeping our clients as active and independent, so it would seem like a natural connection. If you have connections in the senior home health care industry, please share this article with them.