Key Takeaways

  • Provide a program in your community with exercises focused on increasing strength, range of motion, stability, and balance to improve health and mobility.

Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute evidence-based physical activity and chronic disease self-management support program. The Geri-Fit program is designed for older adults and uses strength training exercises to rebuild muscle that’s been lost through the aging process. A set of 2, 3 or 4-pound dumbbells are required for the program. A stretch band is also required for the stretches and some of the strength training exercises. Participants can bring their own weights to class or the facility may provide weights for the participants. There is no dancing, aerobics, or choreography to learn and participants never have to get on the floor. Most of the bodybuilding exercises are performed seated in chairs. 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. Geri-Fit is offered at 400+ locations throughout the U.S.A.

  • Target audience: Older adults over the age of 60 years of age that are interested in improving their health and managing their chronic diseases through attendance in an ongoing evidence-based physical activity program.
  • Health outcomes:
    • increased overall strength
    • Increased balance
    • Improved flexibility and range of motion
    • Improved mental outlook

Having had arthritis (especially my hip and wrist), the last thing I wanted to do was go to an exercise class. Steve asked a few times and said, “Try it! Try it.” So, I finally gave in and actually enjoyed it. The best thing was within 6 weeks, my hip had stopped hurting completely.  – Participant

  • Delivered by: 1 Trained lay leader/facilitator, who can include fitness instructors, health educators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, trained care consultants, nurses, registered dietitians, social workers/mental health therapists, caregivers, in-home health aides
  • Program type: Group
  • Format: In-person at home, in-person in community, remote

Note: It is permissible to use a combination of remote (i.e. videoconference) and in-person implementation in the same session or during a class series. For example: 10 participants join by Zoom and 10 participants attend in a senior center and receive instruction at the same time.

  • Length: There are two options, including:
    • 12 weeks for a total of 24 classes; two 45-minute sessions per week,
    • OR, the program can be ongoing (preferred) because most people do not want to stop after 12 weeks
  • Training: Remote, in-person, on-demand
  • Professional required: No
  • Accessibility adaptations available: Yes, accommodations are available for all abilities. Participants may use mobility devices such as canes, walkers, and walking sticks. For remote delivery, individuals with low vision may enlarge the print for online instruction when viewing written content or lesson plans on a device. All movements are demonstrative and described in detail with physical demonstrations and descriptions provided out loud.
  • Cultural adaptations available: Yes, accommodations made upon request
  • Available in languages other than English:  Yes 
  • Data collection: Geri-fit collects data from implementation sites on an optional basis.
  • Topic(s):Physical Activity
    • Substance Use
    • Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia
    • Behavioral Health
    • Cancer Survivors
    • Care Transitions
    • Chronic Disease
    • Falls Prevention
    • Medication Management
    • Nutrition
    • Pain Management
  • Contact:

As an administrator, it’s always great to see a program become popular. Geri-Fit has blown up! We are starting our second class here in this local county and have four others ready to grow with leaders and locations in other counties close by. Our local hospital is thrilled by the progress they have seen and even wrote to tell me about how they will gladly continue to support us. – Steve Gwin, Director of Programs, AREA FIVE AGENCY ON AGING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC., Logansport, IN.

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