DARKE COUNTY — A New Year is always filled with the promise of positive change and promises to oneself, and following the events of 2020, there is even more anticipation and hope for what 2021 will bring.
“We have begun a new year in a much different place than last year, but we are no less optimistic for where we are going,” said Sam Casalano, CEO of the YMCA of Darke County.. “After a long, hard journey through a pandemic that was like nothing we’ve ever seen before in our lifetimes, we are finally looking at a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“As our community continues to recover, we are encouraging our members and the community as a whole to think about their physical and mental health in 2021,” Casalano continued. “Whether it’s your morning yoga or your lunchtime run, we are encouraging children and adults alike to focus on returning to routines that get you moving.”
Physical activity is critical for physical health, and research suggests higher levels of physical activity may also help alleviate negative mental health symptoms. The Y can help with getting physical activity routines back into your daily routine through both in-person and virtual classes.
Since COVID-19, the YMCA of Darke County has made extensive efforts to ensure the health and safety of members using its facilities, such as installation of touch-free drinking fountains, paper towel dispensers and soap dispensers; enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the day; offering hand sanitizer and other sanitization materials throughout the Y; limiting capacity; and requiring face coverings throughout the facilities when not actively exercising.
“Throughout these challenges in our lives, your YMCA has striven to provide some respite,” Casalano said. “We have been here for you as a daily escape, a peaceful oasis, an outlet for your energies, and a connection to a little bit of ‘normal’ when so much of the world just seemed to be out of control.”
At the same time, the Y recognizes not everyone is ready to return to its facilities yet, and they have expanded their virtual offerings to include group exercise classes to make sure those who are more comfortable staying home can still achieve their activity goals.
For seniors, the Y is offering virtual Silver Sneakers Classic two days a week. These classes are open to all in the community, not just Silver Sneakers members. Participants can access these classes with a computer or smart device like a tablet or smartphone at www.zoom.us. Details about getting connected are on the Y website and Facebook. Virtual classes are a fun way to get some exercise and connect with others from the safety of your home! For a large variety of on-demand exercise classes, including pilates, kick boxing, yoga, and more, visit ymca360.org. For questions or assistance, contact Jen Sturgill, Wellness Coordinator, at Jsturgill@ymcadarkecounty.org or at 937-548-3777.
“The Y is working to make sure all our members have options that fit their lifestyle and comfort level,” Casalano said.
To learn more about the Y’s efforts to keep you healthy, active, and safe, visit www.ymcadarkecounty.org or facebook.com/ymcadarkecounty