By Kathy L. Collins

Select Tampa YMCAs, including the Campo Y, are offering a special program called Enhance®Fitness. This is a proven senior fitness and arthritis management program that improves endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.

Enhance®Fitness has been recognized by the Centers For Disease Control (the CDC) and other national organizations committed to improving the health of older adults. Tampa YMCA Healthy Living Director, Dawn Kita explained, “The Tampa YMCA received a generous grant from the Cigna Foundation to launch the national evidence-based physical activity program deemed particularly safe and effective for older adults living with arthritis.” Kita added, “This cause-driven, chronic disease program made great sense for us since Tampa Bay has one of the largest older adult populations in the country.”

The next session begins on Monday, August 28 and runs for 16 weeks. At Campo Y, the program is offered on Mondays at 12:45 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m. The program is free for “Everywhere” and Silver Sneaker members. The cost to attend for “Here” members is $40 and $48 for non-members of the Y.

Each session is one-hour long. During the class, participants engage in a five-minute warm up; a 20 minute aerobic workout; a five minute cool down; a 20 minute upper and lower body strength training workout; a 10 minute strengthening workout to keep the muscles flexible; and balance exercises throughout the class. Rosa Health is the Enhance®Fitness Instructor at the Campo Y. Health said, “As an instructor, I have only good things to say about the benefits of this program. Within just weeks, participants will see and feel physical and mental improvement. Benefits of the program include increased muscle strength, maintained or enhanced cardio respiratory fitness, better balance, flexibility, mood enhancement and perhaps weight loss.”

According to Kita, “Participants’ progress is measured through fitness checks completed at the time the individual first joins Enhance®Fitness, then as long as the participants continues in the class. Kita added, “Members are feeling stronger and have increased mobility of their joints with arthritis. One member, who previously could not touch his finger to his thumb, now can.”

Registration is now open. Classes are limited to 25 people for each session at each participating Y. For info call Kavita Marballi at 684-1371, ext. 1606 or stop by the Campo Y located at 3414 Culbreah Rd. in Valrico.

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