At the heart of the YMCA lies the power to transform?both yourself and the world around you. From our exceptional fitness, personal training, sports and aquatics programs, to our extensive preschool and school-age programs, to our fun family and community events, the Y offers an array of options focused on strengthening bodies, minds and communities.
When you are involved with the Y, you help bring about lasting personal and social change. Whether you want to nurture the potential of children, improve your family?s health, or give back to your neighbors, your involvement with the Y will positively impact your community.
With school out, parents can lure kids off couches and into fun activities with a little planning, according to fitness experts from the YMCA of Metro Chicago. "
With school out, parents can lure kids off couches and into fun activities with a little planning, according to fitness experts from the YMCA of Metro Chicago.
“I believe the best place for children to learn, make mistakes and explore their interests begins at home with family,” says Naimah Cyprian, Rauner Family YMCA. “By exercising together, families can learn each other’s evolving personalities, share strengths and improve weaknesses, all while being supported by loved ones. It brings the family closer.”
The Y offers seven ideas for family workouts:
Hit the Streets: Spend longer days outdoors. “My husband and I often take bike rides with our kids, and one of my daughters just started running with me,” says Cathy Karnuth, Irving Park YMCA. Municipal bike rental programs and lighted paths offer families great options.
See some Sites: Walk to a special site in your neighborhood weekly and enjoy a healthy picnic, suggests Cyprian.
Build a Team: Gather families from your block or network, and plan an evening softball, volleyball or soccer game. Rotate coaching duties among the kids to put them in charge of the fun.
Go Back to Class: Try family-friendly fitness classes and programs, available at most YMCAs. “We offer interactive physical games, team fitness challenges, sports-related activities and dancing,” says Cyprian. t
Fly a Kite: This simple activity involves so much – creativity when designing kites, cooperation when assembling them and movement when flying them.
Keep it Reel: You may not break a sweat, but fishing involves interaction, conversation and, if you’re lucky, heavy lifting of the “big catch.” Add a nature hike through a local preserve, and you’ve got a fantastic activity.
Bring It In: Turn dog walking, house cleaning and grass cutting from chores to challenges. “Some of the most quality time I have with my family is when we’re outside doing yard work,” says Kaysi Marshall, Foglia YMCA. Make it competitive by forming teams, timing yourselves, or adding push-ups and jumping jacks between tasks.
Family workouts are the ultimate multi-task: You enjoy time together and you role-model healthy living. “The family that plays together stays together, and it’s the same for working out,” asserts Rhonda Hoekenga, Hastings Lake YMCA. “When kids see parents working out, and parents encourage and challenge kids, it makes for stronger family bonds and instills good habits for the future.”
For information on the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s programs, visit ymcachicago.org or call 800.514.1224.