When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, improving your overall health and becoming more active always seems to be at the top of the list.

There are many ways for senior citizens to accomplish those goals for 2013 and beyond.

The Four Rivers Family YMCA in Washington has a number of classes and programs for seniors.

One of the more popular ones is the Silver Sneakers program.

Several area health insurances for seniors are offering Silver Sneakers benefits to help seniors improve their overall health and wellness by exercising more during the coming year.

“If it’s part of your Medicare supplement, you can receive a free membership to the YMCA,” said Michelle Villmer, physical director at the Four Rivers Area YMCA.

The Silver Sneakers benefit provides use of Washington’s Four Rivers Area YMCA facility, as well as offer enrollment in exercises classes beginning in January.

YMCA senior orientation programs for those wanting to utilize the facility to do their exercising will be held in January.

The orientation will cover a tour of the facility, exercise equipment, rules and regulations, along with general guidelines for improving health and wellness by exercising.  

Jim Derner, a senior, and a current YMCA and Silver Sneakers group exercise instructor, will handle the senior orientation programs at the YMCA’s facility. 

Additional senior orientation programs will be scheduled if enough interest is shown. 

An introductory Silver Sneakers cardio circuit class was demonstrated on New Year’s Day. If enough are interested in a cardio class, one will be implemented in the near future.

In addition, an introductory muscular strength and range of movement class also will be demonstrated.

Regularly scheduled MSROM classes will begin on Jan. 8.

Yoga stretch and cardio fitness class may be offered in the spring of 2013 if enough senior interest is shown.

“Seniors may visit the YMCA for a free fitness consultation and a pool orientation,” Villmer said. “In January, we’ll offer sampler classes for a taste of all the different classes and programs we offer. We have a lot of mobility classes and a lot of pool and aqua classes. Of course, we also have the fitness center, the track and the gym. Just call the YMCA for information on how to get involved.”

The Four Rivers Area YMCA offers membership discounts for seniors ages 62 and older.

There also are ways for seniors to be active at home.

“It’s good to have a membership to the gym, but we realize you can’t get here every day,” Villmer said. “There are workout videos at Target and Wal-Mart. There are stretch and yoga DVDs. You can also pick up fitness magazines. The best way to go is to talk to one of our trainers at the YMCA to see what things you can do at home.”

YMCA classes have been popular.

“Classes are popular because there’s group accountability. You have up to 20 workout buddies. There’s something about a group atmosphere that creates a friendly competition, which is good,” Villmer said. “You get that extra push and motivation that you don’t necessarily get at home. It keeps you coming back.”

The big question is how do you stay motivated to hit the gym past January and February?

“You have to find something here that you love to do. If you find it, grasp onto it,” Villmer said. “Try different things until you find something you really enjoy doing. Be sure to ask for help. We want to see everyone coming back. Everyone needs a push to maintain a constant level of fitness throughout the entire year.”

For those interested in a senior orientation program, a Silver Sneakers class, or any programs at the at Four Rivers Family YMCA, call 636-239-5704.