“The Y is my sweetheart; I started on valentines day,” shares Linda. Six months into her health journey, Linda had a membership to a different gym but was looking for more. “I heard great things about the Y,” she shared.
Linda has made going to the Y part of her daily routine. “I’m there two or three hours a day. If you are like me, a widow or widower, you have too much time on your hands.”
As people get older, there is a natural tendency to settle into inactive routines and grow increasingly sedentary, leading to being less social and isolated. Unfortunately, studies show that seniors experience loneliness more than the rest of the population.1
“I really enjoy my Y,” shares Linda. “I love the staff; they are so sweet. They come and check on me, see how many miles I’ve done on the bike, and make sure my show is on the TV. They are good to this old lady,” laughs Linda.
According to the CDC, studies have shown that isolation and loneliness affect mood and mental health and create higher rates of poor physical health. Social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.2
If I miss a day, I feel like I haven’t visited a friend that day. I feel really lonely. I miss it. I really miss it when I don’t go
“I’ve lost an excess of 30 pounds since I came to the Y.” Since starting her fitness journey over a year ago, Linda is now just 5 pounds shy of her total weight loss goal of 110 pounds. But working out is only one aspect of Linda’s Y visits, the sense of support and feeling of community that she receives from the Y brings her back each day. “If I miss a day, I feel like I haven’t visited a friend that day. I feel really lonely. I miss it. I really miss it when I don’t go,” she shares. “They encourage you, and it is a family feeling.”
We’re committed to helping older adults stay physically and mentally healthy. At the Y, we know by creating a supportive environment for people of all ages to thrive, we strengthen not just individuals but the foundation of our community. With the support of donors, we can eliminate financial barriers that impede seniors from accessing health and wellness resources, making new connections, and finding a community of support.
Nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. 2