In the Spotlight

By Meagan Smith, Heller MPP Candidate, class of 2017

This week’s interview was with Amanda Cleary, Health and Wellness Director of the Waltham YMCA. The Waltham YMCA serves many communities including Waltham, Lexington, Watertown, Belmont and Arlington. The YMCA promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. This branch features an outdoor pool that can be used during the summer months. We hope you enjoy reading more about the YMCA below!

Why did the YMCA want to join in this initiative with Healthy Waltham to promote an age-friendly community? Why is healthy aging important to your organization? How do you see Waltham continuing to grow as an age-friendly city in the years to come?

We wanted to get more involved with the Waltham community so that we could better identify needs and both specialize and supplement services. We hope to show people that we are a resource. Healthy aging is at the heart of the YMCA. We encourage physical activity, tight social networks, and emotional satisfaction. When people have strong physical, social, and emotional lives, they have better health outcomes. To grow as an age-friendly city, Waltham needs to continue to provide opportunities and outlets for seniors to get involved. These opportunities should be accessible and affordable to all seniors.

What are the YMCA’s current goals, projects, and events, particularly in regards to healthy aging efforts in Waltham?

We offer a variety of classes targeted for the senior population; some of these classes include: aqua, aerobic, and yoga. We have developed a diabetes prevention program in which we see individuals over the age of 65 have great success. We are also working to implement an enhanced fitness program which is already available at our Chinatown and Huntingon Ave. locations. This program is offered three times per week and focuses on arthritis, strength training, and cardio.

What healthy aging successes has your agency achieved thus far?

We see steady participation within both the group exercise classes and personal training.

What is the most unique project or event the YMCA is taking on in the Waltham Connections program?

We have had the diabetes prevention program for a year and a half for all ages and are looking forward to implement the enhanced fitness program. Both programs can be offered off-site if people are unable to make it to the YMCA.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your organization?

The YMCA offers financial assistance for membership. We do not want cost to be a barrier for someone to get involved with us. We strive to take away the intimidation factor that can often come with working out. The Waltham YMCA is located at 725 Lexington Street Waltham, MA 02452 and can be reached at 781-894-5295. Check out our website here!

Comments are closed.