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Muscle Madness at the YMCA

With September being National Women’s Health & Fitness Day and Family Health & Fitness Day, it is a good month to talk about fitness.

I grew up playing soccer, softball, basketball, water polo, ran cross country and I spent many summers swimming, biking and running. I’ve always had an ability to engage in physical activity, but I’ve never been competitive nor consider myself athletic. During periods of my life when gyms intimidated me, I turned to workout DVDs (tapes back in the day) or walking outside. The last few years I’ve grown comfortable and confident in myself to walk into any gym or fitness facility and enjoy a workout.

I recently spent a week getting to know my local YMCA. After examining the group fitness schedule and talking to my sister who goes to an Indianapolis Y, I added class dates and times to my calendar and looked forward to trying something new.

On my first day, I picked the Muscle Madness class because I like weight-bearing workouts. I met a couple other attendees before class started and asked them what other classes they like and cycling and Zumba were mentioned so I made a mental note.

The Muscle Madness class was great! Even though the instructor picked up six-pound weights, I opted for four-pound weights because she said light weights and I wanted to be able to complete all reps of every set without sacrificing form.

Wearing my heart rate monitor, I burned 403 calories in 55 minutes which is good for me for this style of class. It is a weight, not cardio, class and I could tell that my muscles got a healthy workout. This class was a great total body workout in which we used dumbbells, 18 pound body bar, exercise ball and did floor work.

The class you take might vary in terms of equipment, but do not let that or your fitness level intimidate you. If you’re interested, go and see what your body is capable of!

While I could tell the women in this class were regulars, they were welcoming of a new face and after the class the instructor who also recognized me as an unfamiliar face asked how I liked it. I took the opportunity to ask her for recommendations on classes and walked out with the inside scoop.

On my way out, I checked out the indoor pool, the free weight room, the room with the TRX suspension training, the women’s locker rooms (include showers and changing stalls), the fitness room, which has treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals and the ActivTrax machine and equipment to use with your customized ActivTrax workouts. The Y offers so much I understand why members are so friendly and happy to be there, they are taking advantage of a wonderful resource. I also understand why my sister, niece and nephew gush about their Y.

I’ll be back later this week to talk about my next experience at my local YMCA – it’s a party!

Disclosure: The YMCA provided me with week membership so that I could experience the YMCA and all that it has to offer.

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