Based on the principle that the benefits of prevention through exercise over treatment, Healthways SeniorSneakers is a leading provider of specialized comprehensive health solutions to help millions of seniors maintain or improve their health and as a result, reduce overall health care costs. Currently, it serves more than 1.5 million members with a potential market of 9 million seniors. It is a great way for a Tai Chi/Qigong instructor to reach the target clients by becoming a SilverSneakers instructor.
There are many programs offered by Healthways through major health clubs. Additionally, the FLEX Program is designed to attract seniors who typically don’t visit a gym/fitness center or need more variety, ease of access, or a different customer experience. FLEX offers Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong classes conducted by certified instructors.
If you are a Tai Chi or Qigong instructor or plan to be one, SilverSneakers can be a great venue for you to spread the health benefits of the healing arts and be paid by it. You can become a SilverSneakers instructor through two paths. One way is to be hired by one of the major health clubs (i.e. YMCAs, Curves, SNAP Fitness, Gold’s Gym) or community-based health centers. You can find out the participating organizations by visiting the website, www.silversneakers.com. These health clubs normally require a teaching certificate, reference(s), a teaching demo, and a background check report. They will set up classes for you to teach and compensate you accordingly. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you are teaching a SilverSneakers class.
The other path is that you can apply to be a FLEX instructor directly with SilverSneakers. The process includes a few steps that are not difficult to go through. To ensure quality service for its members, Healthways has a screening process before hiring any instructor. If you are interested in becoming a SilverSneakers Tai Chi or Qigong instructor, you need to have valid current CPR training certificate and at least 200 hours training at an accredited school for Tai Chi or Qigong. Currently, World Tai Chi Association, Tai Chi Healthways, American Tai Chi and Qigong Association, and Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi are some of the approved certification organization by SilverSneakers. Additionally, Healthways will conduct a background check. You have to provide evidence that you have personal liability insurance that provides you with coverage in case you are sued. No worries if you don’t know where to get one. Healthways can supply you with a list of insurers for you to price from. In general, the rate is reasonable. Once you finish these major steps, you are required to take several online training courses that are rather straightforward if you already have experience in teaching seniors.
As a FLEX instructor, you can use an online resource center tool to create classes or have a FLEX support team specialist guide you through to design classes. You need to market your new classes but FLEX will also promote them for you via its website and other resources. You cannot charge any SilverSneakers member for classes. Instead, SilverSneakers will pay you directly. You can host classes either in a studio, school gym, church conference room, or a senior center activity room. You can also have classes outdoors in a park. The sky is the limit as far as how much you want to share the healing arts with a demographic group who can really benefit from learning.
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