Get out and get active

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

As America’s population continues to grow older, the need for geriatric fitness programs is greater than ever.

Just as it is for the younger generations, exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle for older people. Cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other chronic diseases and disabilities can all be avoided or at least abated by a good diet and regular exercise, regardless of one’s age.

That’s why the Suffolk Family YMCA held an Active Older Adults day this week for members and guests. Folks enjoyed exercise classes, received health screenings and learned more about healthy lifestyle choices from YMCA staff and local vendors during the event on Wednesday. The common characteristic for participants was their age: at least 55 years old.

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Setting aside the fact that many 55-year-olds would bristle at the thought of being lumped into a group of geriatric seniors, the YMCA’s event was a welcome and important reminder of the need to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle for just as long as possible.

“We use it as an opportunity to educate our adult members not just on our programs, but on how to live a more healthy and active life as you get older,” said Robbie Laughton, senior membership director at the Suffolk Family YMCA.

The Suffolk YMCA has more than 80 members who are 55 and older, and it’s a safe bet that the fitness craze has brought in more than a few senior citizens to the city’s various private gyms, as well.

In short, there is no longer an excuse — assuming there ever really was — for folks to stop being active as they grow older. And there are lots of good reasons for them to continue, along with many new options for doing so.

Get out and get active.