Healthy new year fitness options

New year of opportunity at BRYMCA

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 10:00am

Name a popular New Year resolution. Lose weight! Exercise! Eat healthier! Get more sleep! Survey says … all of these as well as improving fitness and saving money. Look up New Year resolutions on your favorite search engine and those six goals, with the possible addition of quitting cigarettes, will be on the list for any year.

We all want to do better when it comes to our health, but it sure involves a lot of effort, and commitment. And what if we just aren’t as ready for any or all of these changes? Start with just one and set a reasonable goal. Exercise, you say? Excellent choice! What kind? No idea?

Maybe you used to exercise, decades ago, or maybe you’ve never exercised. Perhaps a visit to Boothbay Region YMCA might be a good place to start. Yes there are renovations going on there now, but all the opportunities to gain better health are still happening.

Whoa, whoa, hold up a minute, you say. I’m not sure I want to be in a room full of people in year three of a pandemic, you say. Not a problem. Zoom and YouTube videos and classes bring Y programming inside members’ homes. You can still feel like you’re at the Y with the small group. Now, with masking up, people are working out on the exercise machines moved into the Field House; and walking the track is great when the weather is particularly cold or hot. Why fight the elements?

“We offer a really great set of classes and apps for everyone,” said BRYMCA Healthy Living Director Abby Jones. “Participating in-person helps fight off feelings of isolation and loneliness, but some of our members still prefer to stay at home. We get that.”

Membership for someone aged 65 and up, for example, is $40 per month. Logging in for one of the apps or classes is as easy as logging in with your Y barcode: And there’s more on the Zoom mobile app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play:

Two classes with seniors in mind Jones suggests are Seniors In Motion and Aerobics for All. Seniors in Motion is a 45-minute class at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This is a good class for someone coming back into exercise and for first-timers. It includes chair aerobics and uses walls as resistance objects.

“This class has recently been held via app at the Community Center in the Meadow Mall. “The program is held in conjunction with Spectrum Generations. It’s designed so people can come and try it for a few months,” Jones said.

Jones also recommends the 8 a.m. Aerobics For All class in the gym at 8 a.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday, with “… half warmup working to raise the heart rate and half strength training with weights and the person’s body.”

There are three pools at the Y – the Olympic-sized pool used for free swims and swim competitions; a two-lane lap pool with slightly warmer water; and a shallow therapy pool with jets.

A big part of being healthy is what you eat. “More and more people are more comfortable talking about nutrition and exercise,” said Jones. “Let’s say you're trying to lose a few pounds. It’s important to eat foods for healthy bodies and immune systems. And the combination of exercise and nutrition feeds you mentally as well. Start a food journal. Remember these few simple things: Eat more veggies, look to plant-based diets; and drink water!” 

Jones said there will be even more attention placed on diet and healthy foods once the teaching kitchen has been installed. There will be a lot of apps on nutrition and coding classes information for adults and kids K-12. Until then, Jones or another trainer will meet with anyone interested in addressing diet changes, in a one-hour orientation. She suggests starting a daily food journal.

“By developing a relationship with instructors and staff, and at some point, want to join, we offer YMCA For All. All you have to do is ask,” Jones said.

Should one decide to join BRYMCA, there are 25 workouts and exercise classes inclusive of membership price, including: Aeorbics for all; aqua aeorobics, boot camp, cycling, Pilates/yoga stretch, Seniors in Motion, Sit & Stretch, yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi (fee based), and total body conditioning.

Health-based initiatives include YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, LIVESTRONG, boxing and pedaling for Parkinson’s programs, Enhance © Fitness, and Tai Chi for Better Health. Visit