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Program Summary

“Stay Strong Stay Healthy (SSSH) is an eight-week, evidence-based exercise course designed to provide older adults with access to a safe, structured, and effective exercise program capable of building muscle and increasing bone density, thus decreasing frailty, osteoporosis and the risk of falls. One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ fall each year. With a population growth projected to reach over one billion by 2030, the need for effective community-based exercise programs for older adults has never been higher.

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy challenges participants through incremental increases in exercise volume and intensity. Led by a certified instructor, participants complete a warm-up, a prescribed set of upper and lower body-strengthening exercises and a cool-down. In addition to the twice weekly group sessions, participants are encouraged to complete the program on their own once a week. In addition to exercise there are weekly nutrition lessons discussed. After the course ends, participants continue the program at home or with a community group. The SSSH program is approved on the SNAP-ED toolkit as an evidence based program. All published research articles on the effectiveness of the program can be found on the website along with more information about the program and current events.

Program Benefits

  • To improve the health, quality of life and independence of older adults by increasing access to a safe, effective and evidence-based physical activity program.
  • Improve the health and muscular fitness of older and sedentary, middle-aged adults throughout the nation by increasing access to safe and effective strength training programs.
  • Reduce the risk of falls among older adults and increase their physical ability to continue living independently by improving their balance, flexibility and muscle and bone strength.
  • Encourage older adults to incorporate the strength training exercises learned, into their weekly routine.

Target Audience

Older and sedentary middle aged adults.

Program Length

8-week course, meets twice per week (non-consecutive days)=16 exercise classes total.

Program Cost

Participants pay 40 dollars or it may be free for SNAP audiences determined by guidelines and faculty at MU Extension. There is a license and service fee depending on the number of instructors trained by MU Extension SSSH State Leadership Team.

Equipment Needed

  • Fitness Assessment equipment: rulers, stopwatches, cone, chair stable, measuring tape, clipboard.
  • Exercise equipment: juggling scarves, multiple size hand weights, ankle weights, chairs stable.

Want to Know More?

Visit this site to learn more about Stay Strong, Stay Healthy.


If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Kelsey Weitzel, University of Missouri, at or 573-882-2799.


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