CHICAGO -- Adults aged 55 years and older now represent one of the fastest growing age groups in fitness, according to the YMCA. The national organization recently celebrated the Active Older Adults Day to recognize health benefits of exercise for seniors.

“The YMCA strives to create a year-round atmosphere of caring and support for older adults,” said Lisa Talley, spokesperson for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga in the May 13 issue of the Chattanoogan. “This special day gives us the opportunity to showcase our range of programming for this particular group of adults.”

Talley says the Y offers programs for seniors so they can stay fit and get involved in their communities. For example, the Y chapter in Chattanooga features People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) classes, shallow water and deep water exercise classes, strength training and social activities. During the celebration on May 18, the Y offered health screenings, free exercise classes, free demonstrations and refreshments. Four branches of the YMCA in greater Buffalo, NY, also marked the day with free open houses for adults over the age of 55. The events featured presentations from senior service organizations, games and information on senior programs including aerobics, aquatics and weight training.