My Y Story: Active Older Adults

AOA group photo for website storyActive Older Adult class member Diane shares “When I first joined the Y, I was coming down household steps one foot on a step, joined by the other, unable to do alternate stepping! I was overweight, with high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose – the works. From the moment my friend Pat and I walked into the Y one and a half years ago, we were met with smiling faces and helpful advisers. We signed up for the 6-week orientation, learning how to warm up and use proper technique with the machines.”

Now, as a veteran of the Silver Sneakers and new Active Older Adults classes, Diane says “my mind and memory has been strengthened, I’ve gained endurance and flexibility and decreased strain on my joints, making it safer and easier to do everyday chores and activities. My doctor finally removed obesity from my chart and told me to keep up the good work as all numbers are within normal levels now.”

Diane is not alone in her success – her AOA classmate Ruth is no longer taking blood pressure medication and is stronger and more flexible in all she does – from getting in and out of her kayak, to catching herself (instead of falling) when she recently lost her footing during her volunteer work with horses. She works out on her own too, but Ruth says she definitely pushes herself hard when part of the group.

Pat, who began coming to the Y with her friend Diane, also appreciates how increased strength and flexibility help active older adults do what they want to do in life – for her, installing a raised garden bed and fencing this year. She also points to how AOA instructor Gina “empowers each person at whatever level they’re on.”

Classmate Liz notes “you gotta keep moving,” and she’s certainly doing just that. Liz credits the training from the AOA class with helping her hike up Machu Picchu in Peru and she is now training for an upcoming hiking trip to take her from Paris to Normandy, confident she’ll master this new challenge.

As Diane says, she and her friend Pat “benefit so much from the class mentally and physically, but we return because we enjoy our time together. We are extremely grateful to Cris and Gina and thank them often for their caring and dedicated service they provide to the seniors at the Y. We leave feeling special and loved by them. Come to class and be a part of our success story!”