Hamilton Area YMCA

Chronic Illness Programs

The Y is more than a place to get physically active; it's a driving force behind living a healthy and full life. The Hamilton Area YMCA is committed to providing programs and initiatives that promote well-being reduce risk and reclaim health. 

For more information about our Chronic Illness Programs, please contact Mary Gagliardi at 609.581.9622 ext. 121 or mgagliardi@hamiltonymca.org.


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Personal Exercise Program for those with Chronic Illness (ages 16+)

Description: This program is designed for those with chronic illness such as Cancer, MS, Parkinson, Arthritis, etc. Our certified trainers will design a workout based on each individual’s needs. This 10 program session, days and times will be scheduled with your trainer.

Please click here to access the Personal Training request form.

Aqua Arthritis (ages 18+)

This class allows you to exercise without putting excess strain on your joints and muscles. The gentle activities in warm water, with guidance from an Arthritis Foundation certified instructor, will help you gain strength and flexibility. Excellent for beginning or returning exercisers, and strengthening for pre-surgery and post-surgery.

 Typical Class:

Classes take place in our heated indoor pools. Exercises approved by the Arthritis Foundation include walking, gentle stretching, flexing, extension and range-of-motion. Exercises are done in shallow water and focus on activities of daily living, moving a joint through your range of motion and holding it to feel a gentle stretch in the muscle.


  • Decreased pain and stiffness
  • Increased joint flexibility
  • Increased range of motion
  • Improved performance with daily activities


Attire and What to Bring:

  • Come to class dressed and ready for the pool
  • Proper swim attire is required (swim suit), no basketball shorts, street clothes, etc.
  • Water shoes (encouraged)
  • Towel, water bottle (no glass)



Aqua Exercise For Individuals with MS

This program is designed to offer individuals with Multiple Sclerosis an opportunity to participate in a water exercise class.  The class is taught in shallow water in a group setting with an emphasis on fun and independence.  Our MS Society-certified instructor will work with participants through a variety of techniques including aerobic exercise, strengthening, balance training, and stretching in addition to a warm-up and cool down.

Why Water Works
Water is a very inviting exercise environment for many with Multiple Sclerosis. Cool water temperatures—80-84 degrees Fahrenheit— helps to keep core body temperatures low, reducing the chances of overheating.  The natural properties of water, including buoyancy or weightlessness combined with resistance, create an 
excellent environment for movement and exercise.

  • Improve socialization, decrease isolation
  • Promote well-being and improve self-esteem
  • Provide an atmosphere to exercise that minimizes or prevents a rise in core body temperature
  • Prevent symptoms secondary to MS (i.e.: muscle atrophy, joint contractures pressure sores)
  • Maintain or improve range of motion and flexibility of joints
  • Maintain or increase endurance potential
  • Maximize muscle strength

Attire and What to Bring:

  • Come to class dressed and ready for the pool
  • Proper swim attire is required (swim suit), no basketball shorts, street clothes, etc.
  • Water shoes (encouraged)
  • Towel, water bottle (no glass)
Contact aquatics@hamiltonymca.org for more information or to register.