YMCA Healthy Kids® Day

Kay DeanMeet Kay Dean

Strong and confident

Kay Dean has figured a few things about exercise.
  • Variety keeps things interesting and challenges different muscles to get stronger.
  • Working out with friends fosters social connections that make the exercise, and life in general, more enjoyable.
  • Getting older isn’t so bad when you are physically fit.
A regular at the Y for more than eight years, Kay makes it a point to mix up her routine.

"I started out in ‘the big room’ using the elliptical and the cycle," she remembers. "Then one summer, it got really hot, and I decided to try swimming." A few water exercise classes later, she was hooked. "It’s so fun to do in a group, and the teachers are really motivating," she says. "There’s a group of women, and a few men, who are pretty constant. It has become sort of a social thing." She says the group gets together outside of class for parties and socializing, and when Kay opts to join in, "They are totally welcoming —very open and friendly. Anyone who wants to be on the list can go. It’s a nice little community."

Last year, Kay decided to take it up a notch. "I wanted to get stronger. I have osteoporosis and, as much as I love to swim and walk my dog, it wasn’t enough." Looking for a personal trainer, she was surprised to learn that one of her water instructors, K.L. Scott, is a personal trainer, too.

"This was great," Kay enthused. "I already knew how wonderful she is. She is encouraging, motivating and conscientious. She is very serious about her job and business, and I love that about her." Kay felt assured that, under the guidance of a qualified trainer, she’d learn proper technique, and she wouldn’t injure herself or overdue it.

Kay rotates between one-on-one and partner training sessions. "I love the financial aspect of partner training, and it has worked well because my partner and I are comparable in our fitness levels."

In the time she’s has worked with the trainer, Kay has noticed she’s gaining strength. Describing a recent hike with a friend: "We had taken a shortcut up a steep path, and had to make a big step up. She just couldn’t do it. Her legs weren’t strong enough. I pushed her up. And then I realized I could do it just fine. It proved to me that I’m getting stronger in my arms and legs. And I have better posture and balance."

Kay Dean Water ExWhat’s more, Kay credits her personal trainer with helping her to resolve much of her back pain. "She helped me figure out that I was twisting and hurting my back when I lifted my dog in and out of the car, and when I was moving buckets of water out of the bathtub." Now, this dog-loving, water conservationist knows exactly how to lift without getting injured.

"Now that I have worked with a trainer," she explains, "I feel confident." Confident enough to choose a free-weight workout one day and a new group exercise class on another. "I just tried Forever Fit with Jill. It was a good workout and totally different from anything I have done. Now I have another option I can throw in to my routine when I can’t make it to the pool. My trainer is all for it. Any cross-training you can do is beneficial." — posted June 2016