June News: Safely Reopening Our Y
We missed seeing you in person in our centers and in our programs, and we would like to officially welcome you back for outdoor group exercise classes, lap swim, and more!
This week we kicked off a series of outdoor group exercise classes while continuing to provide virtual classes you can enjoy at home. You can find available classes by visiting our schedules page, but to reserve your spot, please download our mobile app. Class capacity is limited to up to 25 people, including the instructor. Class size will vary based on available space and location. Reservations are required for our outdoor classes and pool time.
We know that for a while longer, visits to the Y will feel a bit different. We've worked with health experts and our local health department to prepare for your safe return. Thank you for your understanding and for the concern you've shared for our staff who stepped up during this pandemic to provide emergency child care, make wellness calls to seniors feeling isolated, and deliver meals to children and fresh food to families. We remain grateful to our members and donors for continuing to #StayWithUs as we continue to serve our neighbors when they need us most.
Here are some of the specific measures we're taking to keep you healthy:
- All staff have been trained on new health and safety procedures
- We've deep cleaned our pools, locker rooms, and exercise equipment
- All facilities, equipment, and surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected with increased effort and frequency
- Staff and members will receive health screenings, including temperature checks, before entering our pool facilities or participating in outdoor exercise classes. Please plan extra time for this.
- We will follow local guidelines on the use of face coverings. They are required for staff.
- We've modified our operating hours and class schedules
- Social distancing protocols will be in place, and class sizes will be limited
- Reservations are required for outdoor exercise classes, lap swim, family swim, and aquatic exercise. Spaces will be released 24 hours in advance, and will close 15 minutes before the activity begins. Reserve on our website or mobile app.
- Indoor center amenities such as the wellness center, childcare, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, gymnasiums, water fountains, and coffee service will not be available during phase 1.
We encourage you to plan ahead before coming to the Y. See the complete list of tips to prepare for your visit.
FOR ALL, ALWAYS
As our nation and community continue to reel from the emotional and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the despair caused by racial injustice cannot be ignored. The killing of George Floyd and its aftermath are a stark reminder that we have a long way to go toward peace, freedom, and equity for all.
The Y is here for all people, no matter their skin color, gender, faith, sexuality, income, or ability. We stand for all who are underserved, oppressed, and afraid. We work to create a community in which every person feels valued, emboldened, and loved. Like you, we struggle to make sense of recent events. We recognize the pain, frustration, and anger caused by the long history and prevalence of systemic racism, and we stand united with our neighbors demanding change through peaceful protest.
Read more from the Y here.
MEETING COMMUNITY NEEDS
As a nonprofit community benefit organization, our mission to serve all has not wavered during the pandemic.
We've had more opportunities than ever to bring the Y to people where they are, not just inside our walls. As a Y member, you should be proud of the ways we are showing up:
- To date we've served 138,322 pounds of fresh, healthy produce and 37,309 nutritious meals to more than 9,385 people, all at no charge. Find a food site near you
- Hundreds of essential workers have had one less thing to worry about each week, knowing their children were safe and nurtured in YMCA emergency childcare
- While schools were closed, we provided free homeschool resources to help parents educate and entertain their children
- We provided access to hundreds of free virtual workouts and group exercise classes, a service that will continue as we gradually reopen our facilities
- Seniors and people with chronic conditions have not been left behind. We've made thousands of wellness calls and have moved our supportive classes online to help participants maintain healthy habits.
Our association is part of a statewide network of YMCAs that are stepping up to serve. Here's a look at our collective impact through the end of April:
FOR THE COLLECTIVE GOOD
Where there's a Y, there's an us. As we continue to work toward a better us, we celebrate donors who have supported our 2020 giving campaign and the collective good of our local community.
Amy Barnes, longtime YMCA member and donor, grew up going to her hometown Y and YMCA summer camp. (That's Amy in the center of this photo.) Here's why she loves the Y:
"The YMCA taught me that leadership isn't about what you have or what you can take True leadership comes from what you give. Sometimes, what you need as a kid, is a place where you can grow and find what makes you special. A place where you can try lots of things. Where you can struggle safely with new skills. Where you can master a skill and then help others. A place that will accept you just the way you are. The Y gave me all this as a kid. It was a pillar in our local community and it created a servant leader in me. Now I give to the Y, bring my kids to the Y, and support the next generation of servant leaders in our community through the Y."
Thank you to Amy and Jason Barnes for supporting the work of the Y and helping us nurture the greatness in every child, promote well-being throughout the community, and give support to our neighbors in need.
DIABETES PREVENTION ON THE GO
Until we can meet in person again, our Diabetes Prevention Program participants are gathering virtually. It's been an interesting and rewarding experience, with many reporting that not only are they being held accountable for staying with the program, eating healthy, and being active, they're also learning new technology skills!
"I'm thankful we can continue with the commitment we made to ourselves and each other to show up and do this," said one participant. "I feel connected here and every class I learn something new. Plus, I can wear sweats! There is no travel time as I simply show up on my computer in my living room. No more rushing around to leave and look for parking."
"It motivates me to get my exercise in so I can report what I'm doing," another participant said. "This has been an eye-opening experience to our new reality. I'm glad we can continue."
Join the Y's next virtual diabetes prevention series to keep yourself on track. Claim your spot here.
FIT TIP OF THE MONTH: TIME UNDER TENSION
Mix up your workout routine by practicing time under tension. Practice your exercise at a different pace than you normally do. For example, count to four slowly from the top of your squat to your bottom hold. Hold for four counts, then slowly come back up for four counts. Your body weight squat just became more challenging! The slower your movement, the harder your nervous system has to work to sustain your muscles. You can do this technique with most every body weight movement.