By Tamas Mondovics
The SilverSneakers a premier fitness program for those ages 65 and up has been a staple at area YMCA facilities that are especially proud of keeping seniors physically active and mentally sharp.
While SilverSneakers need no introduction its success at local YMCA facilities including the Campo Family Y in Valrico, and Camp Cristina in Riverview is largely credited to its long time Active Older Adult Coordinator Kavita Marballi.
“The program has been a success and is appreciated by many in the community as each customized SilverSneakers class is designed exclusively for older adults who want to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance,” Marballi said adding that each Silver Sneaker class at the various YMCA locations are well-supported by senior citizens, who desire a fitness program specifically designed for them.
To increase awareness and participation by senior residents living in Brandon and Seffner, Marballi, who has been in charge of coordinating the Active Senior Adult programs at the Y for more than a decade, was selected to oversee SilverSneakers at the North Brandon Family YMCA located at 3097 S. Kingsway Rd., in Seffner.
“The current program at the Brandon Y is going well, but I am working on adding additional classes and activities to fit our seniors needs,” Marballi said, adding that besides the physical activities, members can also enjoy social events such as senior tea parties, pot lucks and senior birthday parties, health education seminars and other events that promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. “My goal is to keep our seniors healthy, physically and socially.”
The Brandon Y currently hosts its hour-long, SilverSneaker classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. A class is also held on Saturday starting at 12:15 p.m.
Marballi said that the class focuses on upper body strength with non-impact aerobic choreography. Chairs are available for seated and/or standing support and for head to toe stretching and complete relaxation in a comfortable position.
The Y’s Silver Sneakers program can be covered through insurance or at a reduced cost. YMCA membership is not required to join the program.