Staying Active Together at the YMCA


By Chelsea Cullen

At the Y, we believe age is just a number. Every day we see people of all ages staying active and prioritizing their health. From active older adults to their grandchildren, there is something for everyone at the Y – and even better, activities the two generations can do together!

Many grandparents are thrilled to spend more time with their beloved grandchildren during the summer months. Between out of town visits and days off from school, precious memories are made during this time. But sometimes it can be a struggle to find healthy activities that both grandkids and grandparents will enjoy.   

Spending time together at the Y is a way to combine movement with fun and avoid hours in front of the TV or playing video games. Here are some ideas to do together:

1. Walk and talk. Many YMCAs have outdoor tracks for sunny days and indoor tracks when it rains. Taking a walk together is a great way to be able to ask questions and learn more about each other. You can even make it more fun by having races or seeing how long it takes to go one lap with “giant steps” or “baby steps.”

2. Make a splash. Exercise in the water is great for people with joint and mobility issues, or who are new to exercise. The Y offers a wide range of water aerobics classes, as well as time for free swim. Older grandkids may enjoy trying water aerobics (it’s harder than you think!). Many Ys also have splash pads and outdoor pools available as part of your membership.

3. Try a class together. Group Exercise classes are a fun way to break a sweat. Lower impact classes like Yoga and Tai Chi appeal to all ages. SilverSneakers classes are chair-based and intended for older adults, but anyone in middle school can participate in non-weight bearing classes with an adult.

4. Challenge each other to a play off. Experience the fun of competition by playing racquetball, basketball, or even pickleball. You’ll be able to bond on and off the court and make memories that last a lifetime.

5. Explore the Y together. Not sure what you’ll like? Visit a Y for a uFit appointment that can help you set goals, a workout plan, learn to use equipment and more.

Now when you join a Y, you have access to all locations in North Carolina and Virginia. Many older adults are eligible for a membership to the Y at no cost to them through their insurance provider and the SilverSneakers® or Silver & Fit® Program. The Y also offers financial assistance through the Open Doors program for those who qualify, made possible thanks to donations to the Y’s Annual Giving Campaign.

“We love to see grandparents spending time with their grandchildren at the Y,” says Angela Tate, active older adults coordinator for the Kernersville Family YMCA. “Whether they tag along to a Sassy Seniors class or compete on the pickleball court, it’s wonderful to see them staying healthy together.”

Chelsea Cullin in the Marketing and Communications Director of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. For more information, call 336-777-8055 or visit


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