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JMCROF SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (7,431)
Posts: 224
12/30/12 1:54 P

I've been exercising at home for years. I recently joined a gym and I enjoy it a lot. I don't feel so alone and a friendly face and encouraging smile from others there make it worth it for me. Plus it gives me a chance to try new things that I wouldn't do at home. It's worth it to me.

YOU_CALIBAN SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (11,441)
Posts: 488
12/30/12 9:06 A

the Y in ann arbor is terrible if you want to lift weights. definitely geared toward swimmers and cardio, what with the olympic-sized pool and 5,000 cardio machines.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
12/30/12 8:46 A

YMCAs are absolutely wonderful. I have only lived in a community with one when I was a single parent finishing college from 1979- 1984. I used it every Friday night for our "Family night" when I took my toddler daughter swimming together with me. It is affordable. I also used it for aerobics classes and she went into the day care.

In 1987, there was one summer when I was back in the same community for more courses. I taught Red Cross swimming lessons at the same YMCA.

I moved to a remote island in the Pacific NW part of the US in 1984, so have not been going regularly since. However, when I travel, I always check ahead to see if there is a YMCA in the city/community in which I will be visiting. Often there is and I'll go swimming.
Yes, by all means, join the YMCA.

KARYNWHO SparkPoints: (4,381)
Fitness Minutes: (973)
Posts: 68
12/30/12 8:33 A

I love, love, love our YMCA... but every region is run independently, so YMMV. Reasons I joined the Y:

1) No high-pressure sales (training packages, diet plans, gimmicks). We didn't have to sign a term contract to commit to be members for 12 months. Many gyms around here have very strict and complex rules about how you can end your membership, but the Y is pretty straight-forward and relaxed.

2) I can access YMCA gyms around the world when I travel. I'm not really a globe-trotter, but I do like the fact that I can go to the Y in Florida when I visit my parents, or in other cities if I'm traveling for work.

3) Non-profit. The Y is a non-profit organization. Membership fees aren't less expensive than other comparable gyms in our area, but I wholly support where my money is going. They do a lot of good work in our community: employment programs; programs to promote youth sport and activity; leadership programs; youth outreach; family services...

4) Family-friendly. I don't have children yet, but I appreciate that when we do start a family, there are actives that they will be able to participate in.

5) All ages, backgrounds, shapes and abilities. I love the variety of people I workout alongside at our Y. There's something very comforting about the eclectic group of people that work out at my Y. It just feels like everyone belongs there. I found it a lot less intimidating to start out than some of the other "fitness palace" places I tried... And who wouldn't be inspired to see Pearl, our 90-year-old pool queen, who walks with a cane but takes Aquafit class every single day?!

Then there's all the reasons I love my specific YMCA location: Olympic-sized pool and separate training pool, tons of fitness classes, drop-in sports in the gym, indoor running track, table-tennis, "plus" health-club membership area, squash/racquetball/handball courts...

Edited by: KARYNWHO at: 12/30/2012 (08:34)
JAJUMOMMY2000 SparkPoints: (3,899)
Fitness Minutes: (2,980)
Posts: 65
12/29/12 11:42 P

I belong to our Y. It s a block from our place so I go almost everyday. It is a very small one though, no track or indoor pool. Only free weights, machines, and a fitness room. There is a Y maybe 20 minutes away that we belonged to last year, but we never went. I loved it though, had indoor pools, track, tumbling area for kids, gyms, tennis courts. It even had a rock climbing wall!!!

I like it for the convenience and price.

RUN4FOOD Posts: 1,434
12/29/12 7:21 P

DW and I both really enjoy the Y near our house. Lots of weight machines, free weights, aerobic machines, mats group classes and trainers.
It helps us keep up with the weight lifting part of our schedule.
Almost 10 years ago my then coach potato wife suggested we join the Y I almost fell over. We joined the next day. That started her on the path she is still on. She does half and full marathons and works out at the Y often.
The investment has paid off big time for us.

CLAIREMZM Posts: 2,003
12/29/12 5:38 P

Thanks for all your tips! I really appreciate the input.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
Posts: 5,092
12/29/12 5:28 P

My local YMCA is offering a free 3-day pass for non-members. I'm sure not every YMCA is doing that, but look to see if your YMCA is doing something similar. At the very least, visit yours to see if you'd like it or not.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 31,190
12/29/12 4:50 P

YMCAs vary soooo much that our experiences will be all over the place.

Visit yours at various times of the day - especially when YOU will be going. See if you like what's there!

BERTA6978 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (58,319)
Posts: 821
12/29/12 4:44 P

I currently belong to a Fitness Center closer to my home, but I occasionally attend a water aerobic's class at the Y in my city. In my opinion, all Ys are probably different in some way or another regarding their facilities and their programs. One advantage of the Y is that if you travel, another Y will likely honor your membership, but then again, that would depend on the Ys.

I would ask for a day pass to attend a class or try a machine at a time you will likely go. Is it convenient for your schedule and commute to justify the expense? Will you go?

CLAIREMZM Posts: 2,003
12/29/12 4:25 P

I've been thinking about joining the "Y" in our area. Any of you have any suggestions on that? Should I join? If you are a member of your local YMCA, what do you like or not like about it? Have you joined the "Y" and left for any reason? Thanks!

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