YMCA Helps Older Adults Stay Active

You might be surprised to see what the YMCA has to offer. Check it out!

YMCAs are for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes. At YMCAs, both Boomers and older Seniors have a chance to keep active and grow in spirit, mind, and body. New friends and new opportunities add joy to life. The Y also gives Seniors a chance to share their time and talents with others, such as children and teens.

For example, YMCA of San Diego County offers over 50 classes each week at 14 branches countywide that are appropriate for those over 50 years of age. They include yoga, tai chi, pilates, aerobics, strength, flexibility, SilverSneakers classes in a chair, ballroom dancing, and a wide variety of classes in the pool.

Move it or lose it

Exercise can improve the quality of life for all ages, but it's especially important for older adults, and it's never too late to start. Oftentimes, it is inactivity that slows down seniors, rather than their inability due to the aging process. Small changes in the level of daily activity can have a significant positive impact on a person's overall well-being.

According to Rebekah Granquist, Director of Program Development of YMCA of San Diego County, "Seniors or active older adults are the group that can gain the greatest short-term benefits from exercise. For those individuals who are older, working out (including aerobic exercise and lifting weights) helps maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones."

Rebekah also states that exercise helps people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength; it reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression; it fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being; and it helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.

Seniors afflicted with arthritis who engage in gentle exercise typically see a decrease in joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.

Exercise can reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes.

Mental exercise, too

In addition to exercise classes at YMCA there are recreational trips such as day trips to the museums, walking tours, art openings, theater, and wine tasting events. YMCAs also offer educational lectures and seminars, including fall prevention classes for people with balance and mobility issues, health issues, financial planning, arthritis, and safe driving. At YMCA, Seniors will find many social clubs and opportunities like book clubs, bingo, and more.

It's for Everybody!

YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association, but don't misinterpret this to mean that YMCAs are only for "young, Christian men." Together, the nation's 2,617 YMCAs are the largest not-for-profit community service organization in America, working to meet the health and human service needs of 20.2 million men, women and children in 10,000 communities in the United States. Check out the YMCA in your neighborhood to learn about offerings.

About YMCA of San Diego County

Now in its 125 year of service in San Diego County, YMCA is the oldest and largest youth and family service organization in San Diego County. It is the second largest YMCA in the nation. Founded in 1882 by George Marston, YMCA of San Diego County has 14 branches.

YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind, and body. Membership is open to all. It's for everybody! For more information on a YMCA near you, visit http://www.ymca.org or call (858) 292-YMCA (9622).

YMCA of San Diego County Locations

Border View Family YMCA (San Ysidro)
Copley Family YMCA (Mid-City)
Downtown YMCA
East County Family YMCA
Cameron Family YMCA (Santee)
John A. Davis Family YMCA ( La Mesa)
Jackie Robinson Family YMCA (805 and Imperial)
Joe and Mary Mottino Family YMCA (Oceanside/Vista)
La Jolla YMCA
Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA (Encinitas)
Mission Valley YMCA (Hazard Center and Toby Wells (Kearny Mesa))
Palomar Family YMCA (Escondido)
Peninsula Family YMCA (Pacific Beach)
Rancho Family YMCA (Rancho Penasquitos/Poway)
South Bay Family YMCA