six seniors in a classroom setting

Thanks to a grant from the ACL, the Tampa Y will be offering the Healthy Steps for Older Adults seminar to seniors this fall.


Building Balance  

Many people know that exercise is a leading factor in living a healthy lifestyle. However, as people age, they are less likely to exercise regularly due to poor balance and lack of strength.

The Tampa YMCA serves as a community leader in health and wellness by strengthening seniors to help reduce falls and the risk of falling while maximizing their independence.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is launching the Healthy Steps for Older Adults seminar series this fall.

Assessing and Educating Seniors

Trained and certified wellness instructors will host a two-part seminar beginning with an assessment for Y members and seniors in the community. The assessment will include seniors completing a screening questionnaire regarding their current level of physical activity and factors that could contribute to their lack of mobility. Next, they complete three simple, non-impact physical assessments and receive an age and gender-adjusted score indicating their risk of falling.

The second part of the seminar includes a 2.5-hour workshop where seniors discuss the results of the assessment with their wellness instructor and are educated on:  

  • Home safety modifications
  • Safe footwear 
  • Nutrition for bone health
  • Exercise 
  • Medication management  
  • Communication with their physician about fall prevention

If the senior received a physical assessment score indicating they are at “high risk” for falling, the instructor will suggest an exercise regimen that could include strength training classes, group exercise classes like Enhance®Fitness or an aquatics program at their local YMCA.

Supporting Seniors  

Dawn Kita, Director of Community Health at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, shares, “It’s important to keep moving as you age. The Healthy Steps for Older Adults program will benefit many seniors in our community. The seminars are a great way for seniors to learn how at risk they are of falling and what steps to reduce that risk. Based on the seniors’ risk level, our instructors can provide safety modifications and resources to proactively prevent falls.”

Adults 65 and older are recommended to exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes daily for 5 days a week. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention recommend that adults 65 and older go on a brisk walk for 30 minutes daily or engage in 75 minutes weekly of high-intensity activities like hiking, jogging or running.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that older active adults participate in strength training activities at least 2 days a week to improve their balance.

To assess your risk for falling, visit the National Falls Prevention Resource Center and complete the Falls Free CheckUp.

Learn more about our Older Active Adult programs and take the first step to lead an active lifestyle!