By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Family YMCA has launched a new program that will allow non-member seniors to use the facility's programs and services for free each Thursday.
Seniors 65 and older are eligible for the program. Their spouse is also eligible for the same free Thursday services. The spouse may be under 65.
"It is never too late for a person to start developing a healthy lifestyle and see the benefits of regular exercise in their life," said Mark Spiegelhoff, CEO of the Quincy YMCA Association. "The Y has always offered a significant number of exercise options for seniors. This will allow even more seniors to access the Y and improve their health and well-being."
Seniors wishing to utilize the free Thursday concept -- which will be available 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- must first take a tour of the YMCA. An appointment is necessary for each individual wishing to take part. Each senior wishing to participate must also fill out an informational form.
All seniors wishing to take part, including those in retirement and assisted-living facilities, must provide their own transportation to and from the YMCA.
Seniors who will be participating will be issued a laminated card with their name on it to show the service-desk staff each time they come to the YMCA.
"Exercise options at the Y during the free-use day will include water exercise classes, land exercise classes, using the complete Nautilus strength equipment that works all muscle groups, more than 50 pieces of cardio equipment, free weights (including dumbbells), racquetball courts and a walking track," Spiegelhoff said.
Spiegelhoff said the YMCA also has special exercise equipment geared specifically for seniors, including recumbent (seated) bikes, NuStep bike, SciFit ergometer, a Paramount functional trainer and additional low-impact cardio items.
"We feel we have the best options for seniors of anywhere in the community," Spiegelhoff said.
Spiegelhoff said seniors also find the Y's pool a preferred option for lap swimming, water walking and water fitness programs. The Y pool includes six lanes, each 25 yards in length.
Other attractions that can be beneficial to seniors include a whirlpool, sauna and individual changing rooms that feature restroom facilities, sink and shower. There is also an adult lobby with coffee available throughout the day for seniors.