Y Youth Become Healthy Seniors

Lauretta's experience with the Y started when she was in a Teen Leaders Club and played basketball. Jack took vocational classes in wood and metalworking and attended dances for young adults at the Canal Square YMCA in downtown Akron. Their children learned to swim at the Y and their sons were Y Indian Guides. Canal Square is now a registered historical building, and Lauretta and Jack Archual, now married over 60 years, are still dedicated Y members.
Both Lauretta, 80, and Jack, 82, are part of the Riverfront YMCA's Silver Sneakers, and affordable program specifically designed for our seniors. They are regulars, coming three or four times a week when not visiting their grandchildren. Lauretta "has always been an advocate for healthy living." She hiked the area parks two or more miles a day until prudence dictated that she trade her daily hikes for exercising a class or in a the pool. She enjoys keeping her muscles strong as well as the breathing exercises taught in Senior Yoga.
Jack "understands the importance of keeping active" but says that he comes mostly for the personal interactions. "Socializing and meeting people is, in my mind, a little more important than exercise." Jack brings the front desk staff gifts, like birthday cakes, or he'll share a souvenir from their last family trip. The Y has become his second family.
 The Archuals had different reasons for first coming to the Y in their youth and come today with different goals too. Yet through the many stages of their lives, they both have found what they needed at the Y for themselves and their children. Having benefitted from the Y's mission of Youth development, they are now dedicated to their own mission of Healthy Living through spirit, mind, and body.   
Like Jack and Lauretta, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s healthy living programs reported the following benefits:

97% experience improved physical health.

97% reported their spirit, mind and body were positively impacted.

97% enjoyed social interaction with staff and other participants.

Motivation Delivers Results

The Akron Area YMCA’s LOSE4U weight loss program always serves to improve the quality of life for those who participate. Kristy Cino participates in LOSE4U at the Riverfront YMCA and has lost over 20 lbs as a result, but that’s not the only way she has benefited. Kristy’s confidence and motivation are the highest they’ve ever been in her life. 

Before Kristy decided to join LOSE4U, she never exercised. She wasn’t really worrying about staying active. By participating, she experienced first hand the benefits of leading a physically active lifestyle, and experienced increased motivation and determination. 

“I make time every day to do some kind of activity,” said Kristy. “I’m now signed up for a new class and I always look forward to all the different activities I can participate in.”

Kristy also explained that the positive experiences and good relationships with the other participants in the LOSE4U program also made an important impact on her motivation and dedication.

LOSE4U has increased Kristy’s motivation tremendously. From the personal trainers to the supportive teammates, every participant receives motivation and support. If it weren’t for LOSE4U, she may have never seen the results she has achieved.

Like Kristy, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s healthy living programs reported the following benefits:

97% enjoyed social interaction with staff and other participants. 

96% developed awareness of the benefits of physical activity.

95% experienced improved self-esteem.

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