WEST CHESTER, PA — Even with all eight of its Chester County branches closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) has continued to meet the needs of its members and community in many ways, including through virtual fitness.
In March, when the government-ordered shutdown went into effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic the YMCA of Greater Brandywine had to close its doors. However, members continued to ask for at-home workouts, sharing that they missed the YGBW community.
YGBW’s fitness instructors immediately jumped in, offering classes from their homes via Facebook Live and YouTube. Since mid-March, YGBW’s fitness classes have been viewed more than 100,000 times on both platforms.
“Our mission is to strengthen our community,” said YGBW President and CEO, Denise Day. “We knew our community needed the Y now more than ever and our team wasted no time in responding. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, which everyone has been feeling for months at this point.”
“It’s been inspiring to see the connections online between our instructors and those taking the classes. I couldn’t be prouder of our team for stepping out of their comfort zones to make virtual classes a possibility within days of the government-ordered shutdown,” Day continued.
Seeing such a great response to its virtual fitness classes, YGBW purchased a few pieces of equipment that has enhanced the production quality of its videos and they plan to add additional virtual classes over the next several months.
The virtual fitness schedule includes classes for the entire family, including seniors. Everything from Yoga to Crosstraining, Pilates, BODYATTACK, BODYCOMBAT and more are currently available. Dozens of other workouts – from high intensity interval training (HIIT) to gentle yoga – are available via the YGBW YouTube channel.
YMCA Member Corrine Clark and her four children have been doing the workouts since March.
“I don’t know how I’d survive without them. I’m really impressed with the instructors – that they’ve been in their own homes and studio doing this for us. They’re the best and you can tell they love it.”
In addition to fitness, YGBW has responded to the many needs of Chester County during this pandemic including hosting blood drives to address a critical blood shortage in our community and food drives. To date, YGBW has collected 12,000 pounds of food that has been distributed to more than 500 families in our community.
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