YMCA Helps Aging Adults Stay Well and Thrive Physically, Mentally and Socially

  • According to a recent study by the CDC, 27.5 percent of adults 50 and older reported no physical activity outside of work during the past month – and inactivity increased significantly with age. 
  • The CDC also reported that inactivity was significantly higher among women, people of color and people struggling with chronic disease.

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, addresses the needs of the growing aging population with health and wellness programs focused on physical activity, nutrition and social interaction.

As adults age and chronic disease rates increase, physical activity decreases. The CDC has found that inactivity was highest among women, people of color and people already struggling with chronic disease. The effects are also severe for older adults in poverty, making healthy aging an issue of equity. 

“The Y is committed to serving until all can thrive in each stage of life, and that includes offering options tailored to seniors at every fitness level,” said Cassie Rood, vice president of healthy living for the Y. “Our goal is to help every older adult live a healthy, connected and fulfilling life and to improve the overall wellness of our community.”

Health and fitness offerings for seniors include cardio classes like Zumba Gold and line dancing, group cycling, circuit training, water exercise classes, yoga, walking clubs, recreational activities like pickleball and chair-based classes to build strength.

Rood adds that connecting with the community at the Y helps aging adults stay mentally and emotionally healthy. Research shows the social isolation facing many older adults—including more than 2 million over the age of 65 who suffer from depression—has a dramatic effect on health and wellness. Each Y location offers a variety of opportunities to meet new people through educational and enrichment programs, volunteering, day trips and more.

ForeverWell Thrive Awards

At the 11th annual Gathering, one of the state’s largest and fastest growing annual events for older adults, Y members were celebrated for their commitment to healthy living. The Thrive Awards recognize YMCA members who:

  • Reveal the impact of exercise on overall health and wellness
  • Volunteer regularly within the community
  • Model and embrace inclusion, compassion and diversity
  • Strengthen others
  • Prove perseverance in some area of their life

Discover how 74-year-old Carole has used her passion for dance to engage at the Y and give back to her community – Carole’s Story.

Learn how 81-year-old John embodies the Y’s mission to welcome everyone into programs and activities – John’s Story.

See how the engaging, dynamic programming at the Woodbury Y brings seniors together as a community, including a group of women who stitch mats to donate to the homeless – Woodbury Y’s Story.

The Y participates in the Silver&Fit and SilverSneakers® programs for Medicare-age members and encourages people to check with their insurance provider to determine if they are eligible.

As a leading nonprofit committed to helping older adults thrive, financial assistance is available to those in need to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate at the Y.