YMCA offers virtual fitness classes for seniors

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Betty Robie, shown here demonstrating a home fitness routine in 2018, will be providing instruction for seniors through Zoom. - Gabrielle Mannino

The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard Healthy Agers group, led by coordinator Betty Robie, will host virtual fitness classes twice a week for seniors that allows them to build cardiovascular and muscle strength, as well as improve flexibility and balance, all from the comfort of their homes.

Robie has been providing innovative ways for seniors to stay fit for years during her time with the Healthy Agers. 

The classes, called Sit 2B Fit, will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am. Seniors involved with the Healthy Agers at the YMCA can be put on an invitation list, and will be sent an email inviting them to a Zoom chat room. 

You click on the link which will bring you to the class. You are welcome to join all or none or any in between,” Robie wrote in an email to seniors. 

Robie wrote in the email that it has been a challenge to get everyone fully up to speed on the technology, but that there is an optional call-in line if anyone can’t access the Zoom chat room, or if their internet isn’t working. 

Anne Sylvester has been taking the class in-person at the Y for more than a year, and said she enjoys the physical and social aspect of the class. 

“I am happy they are continuing the class online,” Sylvester said. “We have all levels of fitness, some in wheelchairs, some in walkers, and some more able bodied people.”

Sylvester said the Sit 2B Fit group is as much a social experience as it is a fitness experience. “We are a very tight group,” Sylvester said. “It started out with four or six people, and has grown to over a dozen.” 

Sylvester said movement and exercise for older folks is incredibly important to keeping them active and mobile. 

“Exercise is important at every age, but particularly important for elders. For many, it is the difference between being able to move around, and not being able to move at all,” Sylvester said.

Contact Robie at Brobie@ymcamv.org for the access code to participate in the Zoom fitness class.