Meriden YMCA

In 2022, fitness and community share a welcoming space

Published in USA Today YMCA story link 

No matter your health and well-being goals in 2022, the Y is the place to achieve them.

Wellness is about more than just working out. As people across the country make plans to improve their personal health in 2022, there’s a familiar place that’s not just a fitness center, but a center of community where people can be supported on their journey to better health while finding a greater sense of purpose through social  connections. That place is the YMCA.

Over the past two challenging years, many people have discovered a new-found appreciation for the importance of community and camaraderie — and that’s exactly what people will find at their local Y. With 2,650 locations across the country, over three-quarters of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Y. So it’s more likely than not that there’s a Y at the center of your community where you’ll find fitness, friendships and a whole lot more. 

No matter your age, background or ability, heading to the Y will offer not just a chance to burn calories, but also a chance to meet new friends and neighbors while you build a better you. Schedule a time with a workout buddy, try out a class or simply show up and see what’s new — whichever you prefer, you’ll be in good company.

Whether on your own or with a coach, Y workouts are suited for everyone’s needs.

Combining fitness and friendship

As a highly inclusive organization, the Y welcomes all members of the community. Members can expect to interact with people their own age as well as grow cross-generational relationships as they work toward their wellness goals. People of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels can find opportunities for both friendships and fitness that meet their style.

Those who prefer to work out alone at their own pace can use the fitness center equipment or do laps in the pool — and, if they want to get their socialization fix for the day, they can enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat in the lobby with other Y members.

Others who prefer to combine exercising with socializing will find a wide variety of group classes to join where they can bond with neighbors and form new relationships that can last a lifetime. Total beginners or experienced gym junkies alike can find classes that meet them at their level, with a healthy mix of motivation and friendship.

Beyond the gym, Y members can find what moves them in other ways. Service projects, mentoring programs, employment training and other offerings provide the chance to build more than muscle. It all adds up to a place where relationships are built and communities are strengthened - all across the country.

Volunteering with the Y gives many opportunities to get to know – and help out – your neighbors.

Much more than a workout

A major difference between joining the Y and joining a gym is the sense of belonging people feel every day at the Y. As a part of a community-based organization, you are able to take part in programs aimed at improving the world, both within and outside of your neighborhood.

With the Y’s focus on social responsibility, members can participate in programs to support and mentor young leaders, welcome newcomers to their area, support food drives for their neighbors in need and so much more.

If you have been thinking about ways to support not only your own well-being but that of others, the Y is the perfect place to explore your passion and your purpose.  

Self-improvement through community

A Y membership provides a variety of ways to expand your circle, your mind and your overall sense of well-being. Right now, in 10,000 communities across the country, the Y is helping people find their “why” — their purpose, their passion and their personal definition of a healthy heart.  

Join, participate, volunteer or support your community by getting involved with your local YMCA today.