Evidence-Based Program: Geri-Fit® Strength Training Workout for Older Adults

Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute evidence-based health promotion program and chronic disease self-management support program. Designed exclusively for older adults, Geri-Fit helps rebuild strength that’s been lost through the aging process. The progressive resistance strength training program uses bodybuilding techniques to increase strength. The program also incorporates range of motion exercises, stability and balance training, cardiovascular activity for heart health, and gait exercises to help improve walking. Geri-Fit helps ensure a higher level of function and improvement in activities of daily living as well as management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, pain management, depression and more. There’s no dancing, aerobics, or choreography to learn and participants never have to get on the floor. Most of the exercises are performed seated in chairs with a set of light dumbbell weights, however, participants have the option to do the exercises standing if they prefer. Each person is encouraged to work out at their own pace and fitness level.

Additional topic include caregiver support.

Note: Track health promotion program guidance during COVID-19 regularly for updates to program implementation and training options. Programs traditionally implemented in-person may be temporarily allowable by telephone or online.

  • Target audience: Older adults age 60 and over that have either participated or not participated in a fall prevention program, i.e., Matter of Balance, or chronic disease self-management program, and want to continue in an ongoing evidence-based physical activity program for further health improvement.
  • Health outcomes:increased overall strength
    • Increased balance
    • Improved flexibility and range of motion
    • Improved mental outlook
  • Delivered by: Trained lay leader/facilitator, fitness instructor, health educator, physical therapist, occupational therapist, trained care consultant, nurse, registered dietitian, social worker/mental health therapist, caregiver, in-home health aides
  • Program type: Group
  • Format: In-person at home, in-person in community, online
  • Length: Geri-Fit is meant to be an ongoing program scheduled every 4 weeks holding two, 45-minute classes per week. Some locations prefer to just offer 24 sessions over a continuous 12-week period and then offer the class elsewhere (travels to a different facility). But, most locations prefer the program to be ongoing because participants do not want to stop.
  • Training: Online, in-person
  • Professional required: No, Geri-Fit facilitators (teachers) can be exercise instructors (pre-certified and non-certified), fitness enthusiasts, physical or occupational therapists, nurses, volunteers, caregivers and in-home healthcare providers. All instructors, regardless of their credentials, are required to complete either the Geri-Fit® online training and certification program, or participate in a live, Master T-Trainer led class.
  • Accessibility adaptations available: Yes
  • Cultural adaptations available: Yes, accommodations made upon request
  • Available in languages other than English:  Yes 
  • Topic(s):Physical Activity
    • Substance Use
    • Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia
    • Behavioral Health
    • Cancer Survivors
    • Care Transitions
    • Chronic Disease
    • Falls Prevention
    • Medication Management
    • Pain Management

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