Current Issue » Highlights » Vol. 26

Fitness and Health Opportunities at the YWCA and the YMCA


By Patty Flanagan

snap-fitness-interirorThe YWCA of Central Massachusetts, with a convenient location at 1 Salem Square, offers a wonderful array of classes, activities, and plans for those of us who are heading out of our 40s or already embracing our 50s, 60s, and even 70s.

If you enjoy being in the water, or if you have been prescribed water therapy by your doctor, there is lap swimming, open swim, learn-to-swim and water exercise classes. Water Exercise includes shallow water classes, deep water classes and Ai Chi, which includes meditation, flexibility and relaxation. A great thing about the pool is that ~ all within the same class or activity ~ the level of challenge can be different for each and every individual. An older adult with physical limitations can exercise alongside a fit individual, and each person is challenged and gains the benefits she needs.

On “dry land,” there’s a wide variety of fitness classes, including Fit 4 Life, which, like the pool classes, gives both fit and deconditioned individuals the workout they need. Nia, Yoga-Chi and Yoga are other low-impact classes that will interest adults.

In addition, the YWCA offer specialty classes that are fee-based classes so that anyone who is interested only in a specific class can just register for that class, without committing to a full Fitness Plan. Fitness Members do receive preferred pricing for these classes, for those who are interested in a full range of programming.

For more information, including schedules (all of the activities noted on the Pool and Drop-In Fitness schedules are open for unlimited use and are included in a Fitness Plan membership), a Class Guide, detailed class descriptions, and more, please visit

Patty Flanagan is Director of Health Promotion Services at the YWCA of Central Massachusetts.


By Sharon Henderson

mature_balance_72225097At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Strong communities don’t just happen; they’re the result of steady leadership and stewardship of strong values. That’s the Y. For over 147 years, the YMCA of Central Massachusetts has helped members improve their health and well-being while building a stronger sense of community; the Y ensures that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to thrive.

The Y offers great programs and activities specifically for active older adults. Senior members can participate in a variety of healthy and fun activities that give the opportunity to meet, interact connect and make new friends, while staying fit and strong; the Active Older Adults (AOA) programs at the Y strive to provide both physical and health benefits and prevents the risk of diseases and injury. With better strength, cardiovascular health, and balance, seniors are physically able to do what they want to do, providing a sense of independence and confidence.

The following is a list of specific programs at each branch that many of our active older adults enjoy:


Hatha Gentle Yoga  ~ A basic, therapeutic style of yoga that teaches breathing exercises to focus the mind and calm the emotions

SilverSneakers® MSROM ~ A variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and skills required during activities for daily life.

SilverSneakers® Yoga Stretch ~ Learn how to blend three yoga styles to create harmony of movement for the whole body.

~ Zumba Gold targets the largest growing segment of the population: baby boomers with a modified Zumba formula that suits the needs of the active older participant.

Ship Shape Strengthening
~ Classes using hand weights, bands, balls and body resistance focusing on balance, range of motion and flexibility.

Forever Fit ~ Low impact aerobics with the strength, tone and stretch portion using chairs

Y Be Fit ~ Choreographed aerobic workouts to get your hearth pumping and your toes tapping!

Fit, Functional & Fun ~ This class challenges your cardio-respiratory and muscular strength in alternating interval segments including fun athletic and dance like moves and grooves.

Arthritis Water Exercise ~ A recreational program in our Therapeutic (Alden) pool designed to help people with arthritis exercise through gentle movements.

~ Enjoy the challenge and benefits of exercising with no stress to your joints  (Alden Pool)

Hydrofit ~ Use the power of the water to get fit, build strength and flexibility (Alden Pool)


SilverSneakers® I ~ Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activity for daily living skills.

SilverSneakers® II ~ Combine fun with fitness to increase cardiovascular and muscular endurance power with a standing circuit workout.

SilverSneakers® Yoga Stretch  YogaStretch will move your whole body through a complete series of seated and standing yoga poses.

SilverSneakers® SilverSplash ~
A water fitness program designed to enhance each individual’s quality of life and daily function using the physical properties of the water to enhance agility, range of motion and cardiovascular conditioning.

For more information, including a full class listing and schedule for the Boroughs Family Branch at 4 Valente Drive in Westborough, please visit

Sharon Henderson, MBA, is the Marketing and Communication Director of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts.


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