YMCA senior program keeps growing in Geneva

Jim Lyons had a life threatening diabetic condition before he took advantage of the Geneva Family YMCA’s Senior City Gold Card program more than a year ago.

Today, almost 50 pounds lighter and exercising nearly every day, his diabetes is under control. He said the Y program, which includes the well-known Silver Sneakers exercise class, is the reason why.

“My dietitian told me to join Silver Sneakers. Actually, she threatened me and said she would take me there if I didn’t go on my own,” the 77-year-old Lyons said with a laugh. “I’m single and used to eat out a lot — pretty much every night. It seemed the only activity that got me outdoors was going out to eat.”

Christina Ganzon, a dietitian with the Finger Lakes Health Diabetes Care Center, began working with Lyons 18 months ago.

“The changes I have seen are amazing. I could see Jim needed a distraction from food, but one that would not affect his social life. I suggested Silver Sneakers,” Ganzon said. “That is when big changes started to happen. He cut back on eating out and his portions. Jim has not only improved his physical health, but I have also seen a huge improvement with his cognition. Jim no longer repeats information … and can remind me of the goals he has accomplished between appointments. Silver Sneakers was the biggest support Jim had and has helped him improve his overall health dramatically.”

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