At 81, Janie Blount walks into her Y with the confidence of a woman half her age. To see her today you would likely credit her good health on the fact that she takes four group exercise classes every week. In truth, she's always been active, but osteoarthritis and knee surgery had her frustrated, walking with a cane and unable to drive.
On the recommendation of her doctor (plus a healthy dose of her own determination), Janie enrolled in the Y's Medical Referral Program in December 2013. With the support of her health coach and registered nurse she saw results almost immediately. It was her first time in a YMCA.
“They worked with me one-on-one,” she says. “After I was at the Y for a couple of months, I didn't need my cane anymore.”
Now as a Y regular, she takes part in Tai Chi, strength training, chair yoga and chair exercise. She's lost weight, improved balance and increased her strength.
“My grandmother used to say, ‘Get up and get moving or you'll rust out and wear out,'”
Janie says with a wry smile. That's why she has a hard time understanding why anyone would give up on their health. Janie believes that if a person is going to benefit from an activity, it will require some sweat.
Janie's effort also requires coordinating her transportation to and from the Y. She gave up driving because of osteoarthritis, but she admits that the extra work is worth it.
“I feel 100% better,” she affirms. And you can tell by watching Janie jump, twist, bend and lift in class. She has also made good friends. Together, they encourage each other to stay on track.
While Janie credits her doctor for recommending the Y for her treatment, it is the support of friends and instructors, along with her own strong will, that keeps her active.
“If it wasn't for my doctor, I wouldn't be at the Y. He says that exercise is good for you...and it is,” she explains. “But I tell him we do more than exercise at the Y.”