The Suburbanite
  • David YMCA celebrates senior health

  • Thinking healthy, eating healthy, acting healthy all adds up to being healthy according to the Mature Market Resource Center and the host of the annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

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  • Thinking healthy, eating healthy, acting healthy all adds up to being healthy according to the Mature Market Resource Center and the host of the annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day. The day is celebrated every year on the last Wednesday of May. It's the largest national event held to promote senior health.
    In recognition of the event, The Paul and Carol David YMCA in Jackson Township held a health fair as a way to promote healthy lifestyles for senior citizens on May 29. It was the fourth year for the event which draws more 200 local seniors. This year, there was food, exercise, caricature drawings, local health care vendors and plenty of fun and socialization.
    “While we are geared toward seniors over age 65, the event is open to any age senior,” said Sue McFarland, member relations director and senior programming at David YMCA.
    “We try to offer a variety of activities and try to make them different than other health fairs,” McFarland added. “Many of the vendors offer activities such as making healthy tacos or making chocolate chip cookies. We also have a local caricature artist doing drawings and there are door prize drawings all day long.”
    Food included a light breakfast with bagels and juice. For lunch, there were tacos by Baja Pizzafish, hot dogs from the YMCA and snacks throughout the day.
    Participants could also get free blood pressure checks, a balance check, eye screenings and chair massages.
    Ming Ming Fu and Bob Richmond, members of the SilverSneakers group at the YMCA were talking to area seniors about joining the group. Both enjoy the health, fitness and the social aspects of the SilverSneakers.
    “It's a functional fitness program,” Richmond said. “We work on day-to-day living skills such as getting out of a chair, balance and agility. Half of the exercises are done sitting in a chair. The most important thing we do as a group is laugh a lot and have a good time. There is always a monthly social event such as going to lunch or visiting a local museum.”
    Gerry Bragg stopped by the Walgreen's table to check on his numbers.
    “I stopped by to have my pulse and blood pressure checked and to see what was going on,” Bragg said.
    Carolyn and Thomas McCain just finished with their Yoga class at the YMCA and decided to take a look through the Health and Fitness Fair.
    “We've been doing Yoga twice a week for over a year at the YMCA,” Thomas said. “We found the fresh tacos when we were walking through the fair and decided to try one.”
    Jennifer Wiman of Massillon Chiropractic was giving free chair massages. She said massage therapists work along with chiropractors.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The massage loosens the muscles and keeps the tissue healthy by increasing circulation and the chiropractors keep the spine healthy,” Wiman said. “Massages are good to have right after working out. It releases the toxins in the muscles to allow fresh blood (flow).”
    There were a variety of vendors including Sirak Financial Services to talking to visitors about selecting Medicare plans that fit their individual needs. Other vendors included SARTA, the Jackson Township Fire and Police departments, Crossroads Hospice, Jackson Township Lions Club, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Grabill Gallery of Kitchens and Baths and many others.
    “We try to offer education, food and fun for any senior who wants to come,” McFarland said. “It's a yearly event that has grown in the number of vendors and activities and in the number of people who attend.”
    Sponsors for the event included: Absolute Skilled Home Health, Baja Pizzafish, EMS Security Inc., Meadow Wind Health Care, Mercy Medical Center, SarahCare and Valley National Gases, Inc.
    For more information about the David YMCA in Jackson Township, call 330-830-6275 or visit the website at www.ymcastark.org.
    For more information about National Senior Health and Fitness Day, visit www.fitnessday.com.