At YMCA, active adults have fun while improving health

Published 5:57 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today’s over-50 crowd has learned an important lesson from their doctors, media reports and health gurus, as well as from watching their parents’ decline: Stay active if you want to stave off heart disease, diabetes and other killer conditions.

So now we find this age group in spin class, on tennis courts, swimming, biking, and walking our mile track or even a part of the “Basketball & Breakfast” bunch at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the YMCA. And the good news is that it seems to be working for them — most baby boomers and seniors have no intention of stopping their athletic activity unless forced to by their doctors, disability or death.

Ms. Madge White turns 92 in February and she seldom will miss her daily morning visits in the water aerobics class. This lovely lady travels 17 miles each day for her activity in the Y pool and says, “I must be doing something right and I am certain it is my time at the Y!” County Treasurer and CPA, Jerry D. Maxwell is a long time active member and at 70 he attributes his continued good health to Zumba, kick-boxing and the other “active” classes offered with his Y membership. Clayton Penhallegon seldom misses a “Silver Sneakers” class and remains active in the weight room as well as the cardio following his normal routine. Y Staff may tell you that Mr. Clayton looks 60-plus, but he feels 50-plus, as a result of his dedicated schedule, and he always shares a smile.

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As Valentine Day approaches, the YMCA is preparing for its “Commit to Get Fit” efforts that will allow members to take part in a supportive effort to lose pounds and return to a level of fitness that should help those taking part. The $12 fee will provide a shirt at the six-week midpoint of this 12-week program. Additional prizes will be awarded based on attendance and weekly weight loss, with Wednesday weigh-ins being held.

In addition, the Y Staff is signing teens up for our Monday and Wednesday Weight Training Program, under the leadership of Jim Holton, along with a teen Cardio Fitness Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, directed by Liv Warren. Both of these new teen outreach fitness programs will target those 11 to 16 years of age and teach proper techniques while monitoring care for the workout areas being used. Each class will be limited in size, require registration and be held between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Bainbridge YMCA members and staff will welcome seniors (62-and-older) with a February discounted guest fee for any non-member at only $5, as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration. Senior citizens may come and be a part of this active lifestyle for the “special price” for as many as five visits during the month. So do not wait. Join the Y’s efforts to strengthen community through healthy living. Call the YMCA today at (229) 243-0508 and join in the fun!

Mike Haynes is the interim CEO of the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA. He can be reached at (229) 243-0508.