YMCA offers free programs and workouts online

Edmonton will start reopening city-run fitness centres in July. Files / Global News

Are you stuck at home, trying to figure out a way to exercise? If so, here’s some motivation for you.

YMCAs across the country have launched free online programs and workouts through a new digital platform called “YMCA at Home.” The goal is to encourage people to stay healthy while keeping indoors.

READ MORE: Calgary Zoo, YMCA announce layoffs amid COVID-19 pandemic

While all facilities are closed, Rob Adams, CEO for YMCA Eastern Ontario, says the organization prides itself on always being there for the community.

“This is an excellent platform to help all of us stay healthy and active. We have activities for all levels and ages, from kids to seniors,” Adams says.

“I also think as this goes on, people are going to look for things to do. Or they are going to run out of ideas and so we feel like we are doing our part,” Adams says.

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YMCA at Home has three sections to choose from:  YThrive, YPlay and YWell.

YThrive features a variety of virtual at-home workouts that focus on endurance, strength and low impact for those with reduced mobility.

YPlay focuses on kid-friendly activities and includes singalongs, obstacle challenges and soon arts and crafts.

YWell offers self-care advice from psychologists on topics such as anxiety, relaxation and dealing with self-isolation.

They were created by staff who are now no longer working due to COVID-19.

“We had to lay off almost 300 staff in total, nationally we laid off over 20,000 people, provincially we’ve laid off 13,000 people,” Adams says.

“The content that’s being created is being created by those individuals largely who are on lay off or about to be laid off. So I couldn’t be more proud of my staff because it’s the staff and the volunteers that are the lifeblood of the Y.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: YMCA daycares in southwestern Ontario shut down until April 6


The YMCA is a charity that has been serving communities for over 160 years. During these unprecedented times, they need your help to meet three main goals: to continue to serve those most in need in our community, to maintain their facilities while they are closed and to ramp up favourite programs faster when they re-open.

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“I’m blown away by people really understanding more than ever that an organization like the Y is really going to be needed when we come out on the other side of this,” Adams says.

“I know we’re going to come out on the other side of this, all of us, but it’s going to be very, very important for organizations like the Y to come back thriving strong and ready to serve because I think the need is going to be that much better.”

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