YMCAs and Nationwide Senior Well being & Health Day – Might 26

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RED BANK, NJ – Three organizations are reaching out to older adults 55 and over in central New Jersey to celebrate National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 26th.

Click here to see the poster describing the activities on each Y

To register, click here.

Greater Monmouth County’s YMCA, Ocean County YMCA, and Senior Citizens Activities Network (SCAN) have teamed up to bring the area’s seniors together in person and virtually for a special, free event dedicated to physical and mental health, prevention of injuries and camaraderie.

“This is so important to us and to all seniors connected to the YMCA and beyond,” said Laurie Goganzer, President and CEO of the YMCA Greater Monmouth County. “We know the pandemic has been very difficult for everyone and seniors have experienced disconnection like no other time in our history.”

The trio is working with two major hospital groups and other organizations to bring SCAN and YMCA members and the public to the Red Bank, Freehold, Old Bridge and Toms River facilities for the special event with a variety of activities, classes, fitness workshops and events to welcome a healthy meal. For those who cannot attend in person, several programs are offered virtually.

The event coincides with Older Americans Month, which recognizes the important role older adults play in promoting connection and commitment to building strong, resilient communities. As the country emerges from lockdown during the pandemic, seniors are encouraged to share their experiences in order to find strength emotionally and physically.

“We hope our seniors can resume physical activity at the YMCA in their communities, as well as safe exercise and fitness routines in their homes and outdoors,” said Peter Rosario, president and CEO of the Ocean County YMCA. “Some of our members have already returned to the YMCA and we would like to welcome others to join us.”

Statistics show that inactivity increases with age, and by the age of 75, one in three men and one in two women do not engage in physical activity. Geriatric experts say older adults show tremendous benefits from regular physical activity. In addition to helping seniors maintain more independent lives, exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to the Gallop ShareCare Well-Being Index, seniors who exercise regularly are 42 percent less likely than those who do not to report a diagnosis of depression.

“Seniors in the area, like those around the country, have been cut off from family and friends and regular activity for the past 12 months,” said Pat Bohse, SCAN’s executive director. “Often alone and in isolation, many seniors also had difficulties managing their lives online and virtually. We look forward to our Seniors Day because we know that community-based programs can offer our seniors so many opportunities for wellbeing. “

The National Senior Health & Fitness DaypdfThe ® celebration takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Various classes are offered at all four YMCA locations, from deep water aerobics to Zumba and yoga to an injury prevention seminar and “Walk, Talk and Stroll” that everyone can take part in and have a fun and interactive walk together. A takeaway lunch is offered by Fulfill, subject to availability.

The virtual programs include a stress management workshop, brain games, meditation, fitness and much more.

“The pandemic has compounded our seniors’ difficulties on a normal basis,” Goganzer said. “The May 26 Seniors Health and Fitness Event is our shared opportunity to reach out to older adults, give them an open heart, and provide community, fun, and wonderful experiences in all of our facilities.”

Partner organizations include RWJ Barnabas, the CentraState Healthcare System, the Central New Jersey Community Health Center’s VNA, Atlantic Physical Therapy, T-Mobile, and Fulfill, who will provide additional support and information during the one-day event.

YMCAs have been an important source of outreach, information and services throughout the pandemic. They offered childcare, food collection and distribution, blood donation campaigns and wellness checks for seniors. Greater Monmouth County’s YMCA has also provided extensive mental health services and hosts a COVID-19 vaccination and testing site at the Red Bank Family YMCA.

SCAN put its extensive educational programs online during the pandemic to continue serving the needs of its members.

Pre-registration for the National Senior Health & Fitness Day® is required for all attendees. Visit the event website to sign up and view the full schedule. All participants receive a 7-day card for SCAN and the YMCA of their choice. For more information, please contact info@ymcanj.org.

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