Welcome to February! This may be the shortest month of the year, but we've packed it with great activities for you and your family. There are many things happening, but here are a few that I think will help you fall in love with wellness during this Valentine's month.
January was an amazing month at the West Cook Y for celebrating health and wellness. We welcomed 483 new members to our Y family - and added some great new programs at the same time. It was an exciting way to kick off a new year.
Many new classes and programs at the West Cook Y have one important thing in common that makes a big difference to you, our member. These are "evidence-based" programs. This means that they have been tested and shown to actually help people accomplish what the workouts claim to deliver. So, when you invest your time in one of these programs, you know you can achieve results and have a good time with friends.
One of these programs is Strength Train Together, a results-driven strength training workout using all new equipment. We were thrilled that more than 75 members joined us for the first session. Between the great music selected just for this program and new workouts every quarter, you won't get bored of exercising! Plus, you'll see results which is the best payback.
We also launched Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART), a program developed by Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. In uncertain times, this program can help you buffer daily stress so you can enjoy life fully and increase your wellness, no matter what life tosses at you. The West Cook Y is the only non-clinical location where you can access the life-changing benefits of SMART, so come try it out!
We also offer Take Charge of Your Diabetes, a 6-week program to help you manage your diabetes. Plus, we offer many group exercise classes designed specifically for seniors such as Fit over Fifty and Senior Yoga. Check out our complimentary group exercise schedule for dates and times.
Join us Thursday, February 16th for the next speaker series presentation by Allison Sage, DO, as she talks to us about Screenings for Your Health: What you Need at What Age. Learn more >
We're also expanding our programming for adult members, offering numerous programs including:
Every one of these programs is evidence-based so members will get the maximum benefit from participating in these classes, all of which are offered as part of your membership (except Diabetes Prevention Program which is available at an additional fee).
While it's difficult for me to pick one thing at the West Cook Y that I am most excited about, our Healthy Aging focus is certainly at the top of the list. Traditionally, about the time we're ready for Medicare we start thinking about maintaining our health in our senior years. But we're learning that the time to think about healthy aging is right now! Taking steps as a 30-something, when you're middle-aged or at any time can give you an enhanced quality of life throughout your senior years.
Our Healthy Aging program is designed to help every member - no matter how young or old they are - make small changes now to prepare for healthier, more rewarding years ahead. Throughout the year, we will be working with the Concordia University Chicago's Center for Gerontology to quantify the results of our Healthy Aging programs. So, if you're ready to prepare now for healthy aging, this program is for you!
Here is some other important news from The West Cook Y:
- Registration now open for West Cook YMCA's Camp Magellan, your child's destination to have the best summer ever! Days filled with activities at the local forest preserve, swimming, games, sports, and field trips. Your child will experience the best of what summer has to offer- all in a safe environment where he or she can try something new, build friendships, and make memories to last a lifetime. Register today.
- The transition to the state-wide reciprocity program went smoothly and we're pleased that our members can take advantage of this added benefit that gives you access to more than 50 YMCAs in the state of Illinois.
- The first bathroom remodel in our residence was completed on January 27. This important upgrade of everything from the flooring to the ceiling lighting was made possible by a PRI (program-related investment) grant from the Manaaki Foundation that provided funding at very low interest. This grant is enabling us to make major improvements to our residence which is a key provided of affordable, safe housing for men.
- We received a grant from Y-USA to launch a Power Scholar Academy pilot program. This summer learning opportunity for youth in grades K-8 increases their academic success while boosting self-confidence and engaging families in the education process. We'll give you more information as plans for this pilot program are solidified with a local school district.
So, what's happening at the Y in February? So much!! Come in and check out these new programs and opportunities to maximize your membership value as you continue on your own journey to wellness in a friendly, supportive and affordable place that's close to home.
Have a great February!
President & CEO