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The Kelowna Downtown YMCA is providing innovative solutions to help seniors start, and stick with, an active routine. They are offering a free one-month membership along with an evidence-based health coaching program, Small Steps for Big Changes, a one-on-one health counselling program. 

“I felt unmotivated, and this played a factor in my wellbeing as a whole. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I felt defeated,” states a program participant. “We talked about my weekly goals and ensured all my questions were answered. I feel like my old self is back, and my blood sugar and blood pressure have both dropped!”

An older gentleman with grey hair and a blue t shirt is hovering in a pushup over a blue mat in a gym, and smiling at the camera.

While most fitness programs experience participant dropout rates of over 50% within the first six months, 88% of Small Steps for Big Changes participants maintain their new exercise habits 6 months post-program. Additionally, after six months on their own, participants are maintaining healthier eating habits and achieving an average weight loss of 7.4 pounds. 

"I'm proud that our YMCA is investing in this population,” states Kelley Taylor, VP of Health, Fitness and Aquatics at the YMCA of Southern Interior BC. “Preventative health is key, and seniors are more vulnerable when it comes to health issues but less likely to seek services at fitness centres. Many seniors live in the downtown core, so the central location of the Downtown Y is perfect for this demographic."

The free month for seniors is available when initiated any time before Dec 1, 2023 and health coaching appointments are available on a first come first serve basis. Participants will receive unlimited access to all programs, classes and services at the Downtown YMCA, including specialty health programs under the supervision of a Certified Exercise Physiologist. 

Developed by the University of British Columbia’s Diabetes Prevention Research Group, Small Steps for Big Changes is proven to help participants increase their activity levels and adopt healthier eating habits.

Learn more about the program here, or drop into the Downtown YMCA