YMCA encourages all ‘Baby Boomers’ to stay active next year

By By John L. Reilly - District Executive Director, Indian Valley Family YMCA
Region - posted Thu., Dec. 27, 2012
- Contributed Photo

When most people think of the YMCA, they think youth sports, summer camp or swim lessons. What they don’t know is that the YMCA of Greater Hartford serves thousands of adults each year. Connecticut is home to one million “Baby Boomers” – people born between 1946 and 1964 – or roughly one third of its population.

Keeping Boomers active and learning new things is one of our top priorities at the Y. Why? Because the physical and mental activity you start today will help keep you strong, independent and mentally fit. Whether you’re still young, or young at heart, the YMCA of Greater Hartford encourages you to start 2013 with a new activity – whether it’s water exercise, a cooking class, mall-walking, or anything else that challenges your mind or body.

The Center for Disease Control says that if you’re an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can lower your risk for many health problems that may come with getting older. In addition to helping your heart stay healthy, being physically active can help preserve muscle strength so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others. Engaging in physical activity significantly reduces your risk for a potentially disabling injury, such as a broken hip.

It’s important to stay mentally active, too. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, mental decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells.

Not sure where to start? Local senior centers offer activities like Mah Jongg, art and exercise classes, and day trips. Were you once a musician? What’s stopping you from joining a local chorus or community band? And, of course, we offer fitness and social activities at the Y.

No matter where you choose to take on your new challenge, we encourage you to just do it! Make 2013 your best – and smartest and healthiest – year yet!

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