When you spend as much time as I do at the gym, it's necessary to find a place that's comfortable. Is it welcoming and supportive? Does it meet your training and fitness needs? And maybe most important, is it a place that makes you feel good about yourself and your health?
Since discovering the YMCA, my answer to all of those questions is YES! I've been a member at several area gyms but none were quite like the Y. All had great qualities, but none were just what I wanted.
I know in a time when $10/month gyms are all the rage, it's difficult to justify spending $52/month for a gym membership (cost of an individual membership at the Y). BUT ... I have to say, it's worth every penny. Rather than list all the things that could be improved at the bargain gyms (I used to belong to one), I'm instead going to discuss why the Y.
Let's talk about the experience. At the Y, you'll find all the standard equipment, but in my opinion, the indoor tracks brings it up a level. In fact, the Downtown YMCA's track is the second-largest indoor track in Wisconsin. When faced with sub-zero temps and icy conditions last winter, most runners were forced to duke it out on a treadmill day after day. Luckily, I had the track as another option and it saved my running on more than one occasion!
Then there are the classes. Along with the basic Les Mills offerings (one of my previous gyms was big on these classes), there are more challenging options, such as Y-Fuse and Y-Blitz. In fact, any class that has a "Y" in front of it was specially developed by the YMCA. I especially appreciate the Y-Kettle Bell series, which is the perfect complement to my running. Strong hips and core = A stronger runner!
No matter if you're new to fitness or an elite athlete, everyone is welcome at the Y. In the group exercise classes, instructors take time to help the newcomers and if you need that extra push, they're happy to provide that as well. And I love that it's more than focusing on the workout you're doing that day. A big part of the Y's focus is on overall wellness - so staying fit over the long haul.
And on that note, being part of the Y is being dedicated to improving the health of the community. The YMCA is a nonprofit organization and I love that it is focused on making Milwaukee a healthier place. There are programs to help benefit the families and individuals that work and live in the community. And by helping everyone improve their wellness, everyone wins.
For more information about membership options at the YMCA, visit their website. Pricing options vary for individuals, couples and families.
Join the conversation: What do you look for when choosing a gym?