Spend Your Golden Years at the Y
By Brendan Epps
First, this article isn’t just for seniors. If you’re not a senior, you know one who could benefit from the resources and info that follows. Those of us still earning our way to the golden years of life may not fully appreciate seniority in life. Dr. Maria Luque (2018) writes, “Aging is not just muscle and bone loss, weaker eyesight, and slower reaction times. It’s also retirement, bereavement, and empty-nest syndrome.” We don’t fully appreciate the decrease in the interaction that sometimes comes with age. A place that combines fitness and fellowship…sound like someplace you know? Oh, that’s right, the Greater Dayton YMCA has a variety of classes, programs, and activities specifically designed to meet those needs of our senior community! And with cost being a greater factor after retirement, living with fixed incomes, the Y has it all.
A knockout class that provides an incredible workout, amazing friendships, and holistic support for those battling Parkinson’s disease. The Downtown YMCA class has grown to include morning and evening classes and occasional Saturday classes, as well. Classmates and instructors have been known to meet up after classes.
The Greater Dayton Y also partners with Silver Sneakers to provide a series of programs and classes that focus on senior wellness. Silver Sneakers, Silver Fit, Optum Fitness, Senior Fit are all covered by insurance even for non-members. These classes are specifically designed circuit training, yoga, cardio, and resistance training that combines fitness and social interaction.
Zumba Gold is a low-impact Zumba class specifically designed for seniors to keep active and groove. Although Aqua Zumba isn’t just for seniors, it’s another low-impact version of Zumba that seniors can join in. These classes add Latin, hip-hop, and "old-school” sounds that take you back while moving you forward. They bring the excitement of Zumba without the impact on the joints.
The Y keeps it lively with different levels of Line Dancing classes and helps with relaxation with Tai Chi. Don’t forget the personal trainers. The Y regularly offers personal trainers who can tailor fitness programs to seniors. And, Senior Showcase is an annual event where seniors compete in a variety of activities from a Pickleball Tournament to Freestyle Swimming races to a Lip Sync contest.
About the life-saving role of socialization in exercise, “the psychological benefits are just [of group exercise for seniors] are just as important as the physical ones” (Luque 2018). We need social support and interaction at every age, but it’s especially important into those Golden Years.
Luque, Maria, Ph.D. (2018). “Get Social With Seniors.” Fitness Journal, 15(1), 12-13.