Gerofit is a supervised exercise program that promotes health and wellness for Veterans. As a part of Gerofit, Veterans are given a personal exercise program based on their physical profile and goals. Participants have shown improved health, physical function and well-being.
Gerofit can include individual and group-based exercises, such as tai chi, line dancing, balance, core coordination and strengthening classes. The exercise program may include treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers, bicycles and a variety of strengthening machines.
Guidance in carrying out the exercise program is provided by trained exercise staff, such as a nurse or physical therapist.
Pictured above, Gerofit program coordinator Jinny Mullen, a recreation therapist at Northport VA Medical Center, leads Veterans during a group class that is designed as an individual and group exercise program for Veterans.
Previously just for seniors, now open to all Veterans
Gerofit, which was previously only available to Veterans over the age of 65, is currently open to all Veterans. New research funding empowers VA to extend the program to Veterans who might need the program but wouldn’t qualify based on age alone.
Gerofit was developed at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in 1986.
Participants in the program have demonstrated improved health, physical function, and well-being. They have shown improvements in blood pressure, diabetes management, symptom management, well-being, quality of life, physical function, overall fitness and longevity.
Also available in telehealth program
VA is recognized as a world leader in telehealth service development. Northport VA Medical Center also offers telehealth services for individuals unable to attend onsite facilities.
To be eligible for the program, Veterans must be enrolled with the Veterans Health Administration and overall health should be stable and sufficient for you to participate without needing continuous assistance.
Talk to your primary care provider about joining Gerofit. For more information please visit https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/gerofit_Home.asp.
Chad E. Cooper is a public affairs officer for the Northport VAMC.