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Kelowna YMCA program encourages seniors to stay active

‘Choose to Move’ combats inactivity in aging adults

The YMCA of Southern Interior BC is offering a free specialty health program to help older adults increase their activity levels.

Choose to Move is a three-month group program that guides participants in creating a healthy routine.

Developed by the UBC Active Aging Research team and Active Aging Society, Choose to Move is an eight week program geared to seniors over the age of 60 who are inactive and ready to make the change to a more active lifestyle.

“If you are ready to make that change, the first step is to come to our Choose to Move information session at the Kelowna Family Y in Rutland,” said Adriane Long, a clinical exercise physiologist and health promotion manager for the YMCA.

The session takes place Wednesday, June 7, 1-2 p.m.

The program itself is a series of eight weekly group meetings which talk both about exercise options along with health issues such as exercise, nutrition, stress management and brain health.

In the second week of that process, each participant meets one-on-one with an activity specialist to develop an exercise routine to fit each individual’s own lifestyle and personal health considerations.

“Everyone has different interests, whether it be walking outdoors, swimming, using residential facility exercise equipment, going to the Y or other gym…so we come up with a plan that fits for every single person,” Long said.

During the program, participants also have free access to the YMCA facilities for a three-month period.

“And when you have access to the Y, that means you also have access to all our exercise and fitness programs, many of which specifically reach out to people with health or chronic pain issues,” Long said.

Beyond the exercise component, Choose to Move has a social interaction benefit, where you can meet up with and participate in exercises with others.

“Research shows that being connected to others with similar goals helps you reach your own goals, and the Y has always been about building relationships and being connected to your community,” Long said.

“Many people who are Y members often refer to it as their second family so that is something we always encourage.”

Long said Choose to Move has been in place since 2017, specifically funded by the Centre For Aging SMART (Solutions for Mobility, Activity, Rehabilitation, Technology), having served more than 500 participants since it was started.

Overall, the Y has 2,020 seniors who are members at the YMCA facilities (H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre, Downtown Y and Kelowna Family Y), about 12 per cent of the Y’s total membership.

For more information about Choose to Move, contact Adriane Long at 250-491-9622, ext. 224, or email

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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