Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) Exercise Program

What is it?                                                                 SAIL-(1).jpg

The SAIL exercise class is a strength, balance and fitness program for adults 65 and older that meets three times per work for one hour. There are up to 20 participants in each class and exercises can be done standing or sitting. The class includes aerobics, balance exercises, strength training with wrist and ankle weights, and stretching exercises. Classes are led by certified leaders who have attended training specific to leading SAIL classes for older adults. SAIL has been approved by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) (previously known as the Administration on Aging) as an evidence-based program.

SAIL classes are conducted by community members or fitness, exercise science and healthcare professionals who have completed the SAIL Program Leader Training. If done regularly and in its entirety, the SAIL Program can help improve and maintain strength and balance. SAIL Fitness Classes may be offered at many different places such as senior centers, community centers, fitness organizations, parks and recreation facilities, churches, retirement communities, independent and assisted living residential facilities.
Who is it for?
The primary focus is on of the SAIL program is on community-dwelling older adults (65+) and people with a history of falls. The SAIL program is able to accommodate people with a mild level of mobility difficulty (e.g. people who are occasional cane users).
What are the components of each class?
Warm Up                               3-5 min
Aerobics                            18- 20 min
Balance exercises                   10 min
Strength exercises           15- 18 min
Stretching/education       8-10 min
For motivation and assessment the class participants undergo baseline “Fitness Checks” when they start the exercise class. The checks are repeated at regular intervals. The Fitness Checks include
  • 8-Foot Up & Go
  • Biceps Curl with 5lb (women) or 8lb (men) weight
  • Chair Stand

How do I become a SAIL Program Leader?

Stay Active & Independent for Life (S.A.I.L.) exercise classes are led by certified leaders who have attended SAIL Program Leader Training. The Regional Training Office at Marymount University can provide these trainings. The training sessions provide an overview of the SAIL Program, and provide the attendees with a plan for setting up a SAIL Program in their organization or community. Attendees will be ready to establish and lead a SAIL Program upon successful completion of this class. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a live demonstration of the SAIL fitness class.

The next SAIL Program Leader Training sessions are scheduled for:

June 2017
For information about registering for a S.A.I.L. Program Leader training   or for any other inquiries please contact:

Susan Bills
Training Coordinator
Regional Training Office at Marymount University
(703) 908-7680

Malek School of Health Professions

Caruthers Hall


(703) 284-1580
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