×

Seniors get to try out a workout

  • YMCA in Greenfield FILE PHOTO

  • Sunderland FILE PHOTO


Staff Report
Friday, October 12, 2018

GREENFIELD — The YMCA on Main Street will offer a free week for everyone 60 and older to try the Y from Oct. 22 through 28. 

During that week, people can swim and take group exercise classes (both land and water fitness), as well as use the strength and cardio machines and the Jacuzzi.

In addition, the YMCA and Baystate Franklin Medical Center are teaming up to provide a Health Fair and Functional Fitness Assessments for those age 60 and older. The event will be held at the YMCA on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. YMCA exercise trainers will be conducting six simple assessments: upper and lower body strength, flexibility, aerobic endurance and balance. The assessments take about 30 minutes. All scores will be compared to national averages in six different age groups for men and women. 

Then, the trainers will discuss how each person can improve each of the six areas. At noon, the YMCA will provide a light lunch where a panel from BFMC will speak on “Self Care First.”

Jayne Trosin, YMCA fitness and social responsibility director said, “The YMCA has been doing senior fitness assessments for many years, but having BFMC as a partner, as well as the 20 vendors who will be present, makes this an awesome event for those age 60 and older. In addition to the Y’s fitness assessments, attendees can have blood pressure, balance, respiratory and hearing tests, as well as learn about local services and products for seniors.”

Bob Sunderland, YMCA executive director said, “As our local population ages and more and more people, especially boomers and beyond, realize that feeling ‘old’ is more a result of lack of exercise, rather than actual birthdays, they are joining the Y to maintain or improve their strength and endurance so they can live independently for as long as possible. The number of Y members over age 60 has increased every year for the past decade, because of our programs and caring staff who teach the classes and provide free support in our fitness areas. Presently, we have more than 1,800 seniors swimming taking water fitness/therapy and group exercise classes, playing pickleball, doing Nautilus and using cardio or weight machines.”

Trosin added, “Our Y has developed progressive exercise programs in our pool, Fit Life Center and group exercise departments so people can start out at whatever fitness level they are at and then move to the next level when they are physically ready. In our group exercise programs, people can move from chair fitness to enhance fitness to Active Together and beyond. We also offer 14 yoga/PIYO classes a week, plus Tai Chi, Balance and Stretch, Zumba and more. All of these classes are included with a Y membership.”

Sunderland added, “Another focus of our YMCA, a nonprofit charity, is our social responsibility efforts; more and more seniors are volunteering for these projects or helping in our preschool, at the Welcome Center or doing office tasks. Some help one hour a month, while some volunteer for several hours a week and others help with special events, like our annual Free Clothing Store and food drives. Many seniors also like that the YMCA is multi-generational and they enjoy seeing infants, preschoolers and teens in the building; it helps them feel younger.”

People can drop in for their assessment or call the Y to reserve a time slot,” Trosin said. “I also have two free pilot programs starting in November that people can register for. One is a new Enhance Fitness class, which needs 25 seniors for a six-week Y-USA study. The class meets Mon/Wed/Fri from noon to 1 p.m. Enhance Fitness consists of aerobics, strength, flexibility and balance. The second free pilot is a blood pressure self-monitoring program. This is a 16-week program to help people lower their blood pressure through education, movement and nutrition. ”

For more information, call the YMCA at 413-773-3646 or visit: www.ymcaingreenfield.org

Sunderland said, “Seniors should stop at our Welcome Center and find out about our generous sliding-fee scale and three levels of senior discounts. A low-income senior can become a member for around $12 per month for unlimited use of the Y and daily group exercise classes. Our Annual Sustaining Campaign provides some of the funds so that everyone can belong to our Y.”