Summer is officially here and so is the heat, which can turn even the most fun outdoor activities into a taxing chore. But staying indoors can quickly become boring. Instead, check out a local YMCA, which offers a variety of classes for adults and children.
The YMCA has more than two dozen facilities sprinkled throughout Central Florida, including locations in Lake Nona and Avalon Park. Although the Central Florida YMCAs don’t offer classes that are specifically geared toward seniors, many older people do enjoy participating in the adult classes.
“We have a lot of classes they [seniors] participate in,” says Jen Brumbaugh, the wellness director for the Lake Nona YMCA. “Our active adults enjoy the Basic Zumba, Basic Strength, Pilates and group exercises. A lot of our seniors also enjoy the water classes such as water aerobics.”
The Lake Nona YMCA also offers a program called the Coach Approach Program, in which members meet with a coach to set up an exercise routine at the pool or at the Wellness Center. Brumbaugh said that this program is also popular with seniors and is included in the membership package, which costs $59 a month for seniors plus a $50 initiation fee.
Over at the Avalon Park YMCA, which is the newest YMCA facility in Central Florida, seniors are also participating in the basic health classes. According to Meredith Swanson, the membership director for the Avalon Park YMCA, the most popular classes among seniors are the Basic Health Seeker classes such as Basic Yoga, Step-Up Yoga, Basic Cardio, Cardio Club, Workout Starter, Workout Step-Up and Zumba.
YMCA member Marjorie Perron has been visiting the Avalon Park YMCA since it opened in 2007. She’s been very involved in the YMCA during those years and has participated in classes such as Power Yoga, R.I.P.P.E.D., Kickboxing and Zumba, which is her favorite class.
Perron is also involved in the Tri Club, which focuses on swimming, biking and running. The club also offers swimming lessons and participates in various events throughout the year. Because Perron has a passion for Zumba, last year she suggested the facility hold a Zumba-thon. The event ended up raising more than $1,000 for the facility in one day.
Perron says that it’s that type of socialization that first attracted her to the YMCA in the first place. She says that, thanks to the Y, she knows more of her neighbors now than she did before she started taking classes there.
“I never went to exercise classes before because it can be strange to walk into a class where you don’t know anybody,” says Perron. “But at the Y, people go out of their way to talk to you and the members are the same way.”
If you are interested in obtaining a membership at your local YMCA, or if you’d like more information on a local YMCA facility, you can contact the Lake Nona YMCA at 407-852-3520 or the Avalon Park YMCA at 407-381-2512.
By Marisa Ramiccio