When people sign up for a membership at the Bangor Region YMCA, they are signing up for much more than a fitness facility with a fitness center, two swimming pools, and fitness classes. What members get is a partner in their journey to help them improve their health and wellness.

In 2015, the Bangor Region YMCA created a special program called Second Wind, a fun health and wellness program for older adults age 62 years and older. The program was created to help our community’s older adult population improve their health while providing a safe and friendly environment for socialization and creating a sense of community.

Members of our Second Wind program come to the Y with a wide range of fitness levels. There are some who have been able to stay active and are looking to try something new, others who have never worked out before until they joined our Y, and those who come to us for help with how to be active while struggling with arthritis or similar conditions, osteoporosis, or mobility limitations. No matter what your fitness level is, our Second Wind program is for YOU! Our amazing certified personal trainers are here to help you with your health and wellness journey! If you’re unfamiliar with exercise equipment and/or are looking for help with an exercise routine to fit your needs, our trainers will walk you through how to use everything in our Fitness Center, give you recommendations on the land and water fitness classes to take, and, if you like, even create a personalized workout plan for you to help you reach your goal!

Our fitness classes are unlike any classes offered in our community. We have developed group fitness classes especially for our Second Wind members that are taught by fitness professionals. Our classes are designed to include all aspects of fitness, cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance, everything that will help you with aspects of your life that you never thought of. Do you get winded walking up and down stairs? Are you able to shovel out after a snowstorm?  Is getting in and out of a car a difficult process? These are all things that our members have been able to improve on and change over time. One of our members recently told me, “I don’t have to stop halfway up the stairs and catch my breath anymore!”

When you participate in our classes, you experience more than improvements in your health. In addition, you develop friendships with other members of Second Wind. Our amazing program is not all about fitness—the social component of this program is a great way for an older adult to be social with peers and our activities help keep those winter blues away and keep you moving and engaged in any season. As an adult ages, social components become very important to increasing longevity of life. Our Second Wind social activities are fun and are a great way to make new friends and keep the mind active and engaged. We have movie nights, arts and crafts, drop-in card games, book club, and so much more! In addition to these activities we also plan exciting day trips outside of the Bangor region. As a group you will have the opportunity to take frequent trips to our beautiful Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan, located along the shores of Branch Lake in Ellsworth. At Camp Jordan we have the opportunity to take walks within the camp, canoe or kayak on the lake, enjoy the patio and views on Branch Lake, sit next to the fireplace in our King Dining Hall and play a game or two, and those are just a few of the things we’ve done while at camp! We also enjoy trips to the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, trips to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument for hikes and stargazing, trips to the Cole Land Transportation Museum to see all the wonderful transportation items from the years on display, and many more! All of these things are included as part of your membership. One small monthly membership fee covers all fitness, including land and water classes and all of the social activities. If our monthly membership fee doesn’t fit your budget, we also offer financial assistance to those who qualify.

Members that are currently in our Second Wind program rave about how much fun our social activities and trips are and also how far they have come in their health and wellness journey. We have members come to us that have worked out their entire lives, but are not going to let their age slow them down. We also have members that have never worked out before and come to us looking to start at the age of 70. Everyone’s journey will be different and we embrace this difference at our Y because we are here for each and every member and care about you as an individual, wanting to help you become your best self.

As the new manager of Second Wind, I was accepted with open arms by our wonderful group of active older adults and I know you will be, too. I love our seniors and I am so proud of our Bangor Region YMCA and what we are doing for our older adult population in Bangor and the surrounding areas. Come be a part of this amazing group of people. It will change your life!

For more information about the Bangor YMCA’s Second Wind program, visit bangory.org.