There's a new look at the little gym I go to. I'm up there twice a week for yoga class and again to hit the treadmill on rainy afternoons. Lately, that's been rather rather frequently as we've barely seen the sun in the last two weeks. It's a little family-run business...not one of those flashy national chains, but it's clean and the people are friendly.
And that's just where the new look comes in. Oh, the jocks are still there...the big, muscle-bound guys who grunt and grimace as they sling their giant weights around. They're on the treadmills too. Given the short haircuts, I'm guessing most of the jogging jocks are military guys who, like me, are trying to get their miles in without getting wet. They run; I walk.
But now right beside all of us are a bunch of gray-haired senior citizens...and a few blue-haired ones too. The Silver Sneakers are taking over.
What is Silver Sneakers, you ask? It's a program offered by some Medicare supplement plans to encourage their subscribers to become or remain physically active by working out at participating fitness clubs. The idea is that a healthy lifestyle will mean less medical problems and therefore less expenditures by the insurance companies. So the little gym signed up to participate, held an open house to acquaint local seniors with the program and is now filled with a bunch of sneaker-clad seniors.
This isn't meant to be a complaint; heck, I wear sneakers and qualify as a senior too. Some of them are really cute...like the little old man who was walking a few treadmills over from me the other day. I overheard him tell someone he was 80. He wasn't going very fast but he was motoring on. Good for him!
But the change at the gym is more than just the color of the hair...or lack thereof. The televisions in the cardio room are now tuned to Fox News or an old black-and-white movie channel instead of ESPN. And they're louder too. I couldn't help but notice that every senior went to get the disinfectant spray and cleaned the handles and controls on their machine when they finished. The non-seniors aren't always that considerate.
There's rain in the forecast again tomorrow and Saturday so it's likely I'll be back on the treadmill again soon. Me and the jocks and the Silver Sneakers.