Stay virtually connected to the Y through these activities for active older adults from Ys across the U.S. that will help you maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit.
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YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA
The Y may be closed temporarily, but we’re still here for our community. That’s why we’re so excited to launch online exercise and youth programs to support your health and well-being from home with YMCA360.
Weekly Resource Roundup
We're sourcing the web for resources on staying healthy mentally and physically while practicing physical distancing, including ways to have fun from home, like recipes and virtual tours!
- Card games can be a fun way to pass the time and keep the mind sharp. Play games like Bridge, Hearts and more with your current and new friends online via Trickster Cards!
- Make sure you're prepared for winter weather with the National Institute on Aging's Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults. Practicing balance with chair exercises can help prevent injury and falls as well. Check out this guided video to improve your balance!
- Connecting with other people is one of the most important things that we can do to help our mood and build resilience. The La Crosse Area Family YMCA has put together resources to help you identify your Support Circle, interact with it and strengthen it.
- It's hard to make new friendships while staying safe at home. AARP shares opportunities to connect via a Pen Pal Program! Click here to learn more and join the fun.
November 25, 2020
- The holidays can be a wonderful time to celebrate friends and loved ones who've helped you become the person you are today! Who helped you become resilient enough to weather the storms in your life? Who are your resilience role models? Explore this and other engaging mental health resources from the La Crosse Area Family YMCA.
- What family food traditions are you honoring this season? What stories are behind the food you love? NPR explores why we hold tight to our family's holiday food traditions.
November 18, 2020
- Explore a collection of street art and stories from around the world from the safety of your own home! This Google art project might even inspire you to express yourself artistically or take a walk to explore the art around your own neighborhood!
- Writing--whether journaling, writing short stories, poetry or sharing your own personal story--is a wonderful way to keep your mind and imagination active. Getting into that creative zone can even be a form of meditation! Check out these journal prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
November 11, 2020
- As adults get older, skin tends to get thinner and more prone to damage and dryness. Making your own homemade hand cream can be a fun way to protect your skin from cold, dry winter air and awaken your senses! Check out this 3-ingredient lotion recipe.
- Gently moving your body with Qigong is a wonderful way to bring awareness to your own energy and cultivate more balance and calm. This video will guide you through a short and accessible practice.
- Handmade cards are a great way to get creative and stay connected to friends and family from home! Whether they're for neighbors or family across the country, Good Housekeeping has you covered with ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
November 4, 2020
- While it may sound simple, singing along to your favorite song can give your brain a full workout. A report from the Global Council on Brain Health shows that music stimulates many areas of the brain simultaneously, including those responsible for memory, movement and mood! So, take a musical trip down memory lane and sing along!
- Exploring your family tree can offer insights into your own health and wellbeing and help you feel more connected to your roots. USA.gov has compiled free resources to help you research and build your family tree.
October 28, 2020
- With in-person group activities generally on hold, AARP has compiled a list of virtual book clubs to join and participate in! Read and connect with others from the safety of your own home. Want to start your own group with family and friends? Check out the current New York Times Best Seller List for ideas.
- If you have access to the outdoors, you can make a seasonal wreath to adorn your front door or home! Here is some inspiration using household and accessible natural materials.
- It's always a good time to begin a meditation practice, even if it's just quieting your mind for a few minutes each day. This video offers space for you to pause, breathe and tune into your body.
October 21, 2020
- Joint stiffness can get in the way of our favorite activities, especially as the weather gets colder. This video will help you release stiffness in the wrists and hands.
- Learn about the native plants and wildlife in your area with the National Wildlife Federation's Plant Finder. You'll feel more connected to your environment and can stay active and outdoors in the process!
October 14, 2020
- You can explore the Museum of Latin American Art’s (MOLAA) most recent exhibits and their permanent collection from the comfort of home.
- While many of us might be craving pumpkin and other fall flavors this time of year, fall vegetables come with benefits too. Check out these Fall Veggies with Immune-Supporting Benefits and some ways to use them.
October 7, 2020
- Having good balance helps us catch ourselves when we slip and fall, which means it helps to prevent injury. In Improve Your Balance Part 1 and Part 2, Tutu Mora will walk you through simple movements to help improve your balance from the comfort of your home.
- The CDC recently released considerations for planning holiday celebrations this fall and winter to help protect individuals and families from COVID-19. You can find their full recommendations here.
September 30, 2020
- YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is offering a 21-Day Equity Challenge, a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community. Sign up to receive a daily email Oct. 5 – 25 with links to recommended articles, videos, podcasts, and more to advance your anti-racism journey.
- Digestive issues can leave us feeling uncomfortable. This video will walk you through a gentle breathing and stretching series to massage the digestive system and relieve digestive discomfort.
- A recent study investigated the emotional benefits of taking “awe walks” and found they may help improve mood and overall happiness in healthy older adults. This article about the study might just inspire you to take a stroll outside this week.
September 23, 2020
- If you recently took up gardening or growing plants on a patio or deck in an urban environment, you may be wondering how to transition them as the weather grows cooler. This guide will help you decide which plants you can move inside.
- September 22 was National Voter Registration Day! Register, check your registration status, request an absentee ballot and sign up for election reminders.
September 16, 2020
- Hear what medical experts have to say about the safety of traditional fall activities this year.
- Sadly, much of the west coast is currently engulfed in smoke from devastating wildfires. In addition to the loss of life, property and habitat, smoke from the wildfires creates dangerous air conditions. American Lung Association shares these tips to strengthen your lungs. Just be sure to adhere to warnings about air conditions for your area.
September 9, 2020
- Are you a classical music aficionado or looking for a non-intimidating way to dip your toes into it? Take five minutes to listen to these five selections from five classical musicians and share with others.
- Apples are in season! Enjoy them in and add some variety to your menu with these 30 healthy apple recipes, like sauteed chicken with apple and rosemary.
September 2, 2020
- Every September, we celebrate what unites us as a community during Welcoming Week. While Welcoming Week (September 12-20) will look different this year in light of COVID-19, many Ys are still planning virtual or physically-distanced events. Learn more and find an event near you.
- Chances are you've had to postpone or cancel a trip in the past six months and may be thinking about how to travel safely. Experts share their tips for staying safe on a road trip.
- It’s even more important to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. This video will introduce four priority areas for self-care (self-compassion, resilience, rest and gratitude) and offer some steps and tools to get started.
August 26, 2020
- Chair workouts not only help you maintain your balance while increasing your strength and range of motion, they can be a useful prop for switching up your workout. This one is only 10 minutes for those times when you need to counteract sitting for long periods.
- When public figures make a virtual appearance on talk shows, you get a rare glimpse into their homes and often, of their bookshelf. See what books Regina King, Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Hanks, Colin Powell and others treasure and find some reading inspiration of your own.
- If you have a printer and live with someone you can challenge, try these fun pencil-and-paper games.
August 19, 2020
- YMCA360 is not just a resource for virtual workouts. Explore Y Arts with cooking tutorials, visual arts and dance videos. Some are geared toward kids, but they're great for all levels and the young at heart.
- It's never too late to start a meditation practice and tapping into the mental and physical benefits it provides. These five tips will help you get started and overcome any hurdles you may encounter.
- You may already know how important hydration is for overall health, but did you know that it can also impact immunity? Learn more about the hydration-immunity connection and how many of the healthy foods you're already eating can help.
August 12, 2020
- This page may be about staying active, but there's no shame if your routine has dropped off since quarantine OR if you want to start a workout routine for the first time. Here are five tips for easing into it safely.
- An integrative physician shares four relatively easy ways to take care of your physical, social and mental well-being right now.
August 5, 2020
- Give your brain a workout and have a little fun in the process with these brain games and activities.
- Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and are constantly helping us respond to our internal and external environment. The more we can develop a relationship with ourselves, to better care for and identify our own needs. This 14-minute video will walk you through a very accessible way to begin a dialogue with your body.
- If you’re looking to add some fresh summer vegetables into your diet, try this simple ratatouille recipe from Matt’s Kitchen.
July 29, 2020
- It's not too late to plant a victory garden. In fact, August is a good time to plant many fall harvest vegetables, like broccoli, carrots and several salad greens. Learn more about gardening in August from Chicago Botanic Garden.
- August is an excellent time for stargazing, with the Perseids Meteor Shower and several other exciting celestial events. Learn when and how you can see them.
- Chair yoga doesn't always mean you'll sit the entire time. Try this gentle standing chair yoga class that uses the chair for stability and support.
July 22, 2020
- Lower back pain is all too common and often gets worse as we age. This 16-minute video will take you through supportive stretches and preventative exercises that can reduce the risk of repeated back pain.
- Never tire of the vegetables in season this summer with these 67 unique recipes. We can't wait to try this vegan version of creamed corn.
July 15, 2020
- On July 1, 2020, the Y’s African American CEOs hosted a virtual town hall on Unlearning Systemic Racism. Attendees heard from a host of knowledgeable, passionate and influential speakers on the devastating intergenerational impact of racism that leads to deeply embedded misinformation, bias and fear in all of our communities. Hear from Senator Kamala Harris, YMCA of the USA CEO Kevin Washington and others and learn more.
- It’s important to care for our physical bodies at every age and to meet ourselves at our unique level of ability. Caring for ourselves in this way allows us to continue engaging in the activities that make life fun! This video will guide you through a gentle strengthening and stretching routine all from a chair to minimize risk of falling.
- Chicken and fruit may seem like an odd combination, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this savory-with-a-touch-of-sweet recipe for chicken and rice served with herbed yogurt and medjool dates from Matt's Kitchen!
July 8, 2020
- When life gets uncomfortable, difficult or overwhelming, we choose to cope in a variety of different ways. This video will walk you through how to build your own coping kit, a box full of healthy distractions, coping options and activities to get you through overwhelming times.
- Summer means fireflies, cool treats (ice cream! popsicles!), warm nights and more. Check out these five doctor-recommended tips for enjoying summer 2020 safely if you are over 65.
July 1, 2020
- The Fourth of July is almost here! Celebrations may look a bit different this year, but hopefully you can still enjoy some time outdoors. Check out these healthy recipes for summer favorites, like mint lemonade, BBQ chicken, collard greens with plantains, and 67 more!
- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, "a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society." Explore digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more.
- With the rate of openings and re-closures due to COVID-19, it can be hard to keep up with where you can and can't go. Here's a comprehensive guide on going to gyms, restaurants and salons along with links to locate your area's specific restrictions.
June 24, 2020
- Looking to change up your home workout routine? This 30-minute cardio dance video from YMCA360 will get your heart rate up without a lot of impact on the joints.
- There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables in season right now. Check out these diverse recipes featuring June produce, from arugula to rhubarb and everything in between.
June 17, 2020
- At this point, you've probably worn a mask several times and maybe even tried working out with one. Here are four tips for strengthening your lungs and making it easier to tolerate breathing with a mask on.
- Have you checked out Matt's Kitchen recently? We can't wait to put our asparagus to use (in season now!) in his latest recipe with steamed mushrooms, sieved eggs, Dijon vinaigrette and mayo toast.
- Do you ever wake up with stiff muscles? This 10-minute Pilates routine is a wonderful way to gently wake up your body and ease your muscles and joints into the day ahead. You'll just need a yoga mat or something soft to lie on.
June 10, 2020
- They don't call it comfort food for no reason. Recipe developer Tabitha Brown makes comfort food favorites with a twist—it's all vegan! Follow her on the channel of your choice for videos and recipes, all delivered with the warmth and charm that is making her famous. Learn more about Tabitha and where you can access her recipes.
- It is estimated that one in four adults fall each year. Condition your body to prevent falls with this 7-minute chair exercise from YMCA360.
- Many small businesses have been devastated by the coronavirus. Support small businesses and the Black community with these 10 apps and directories to help you find Black-owned businesses in your community so you can offer your support as a consumer.
June 3, 2020
- As we struggle to process the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others and the subsequent protests across the U.S., this list of anti-racism resources can help us learn, grow and take steps to change. The list includes links to books, articles, podcasts, movies and more.
- Increase strength and energy with a 30-minute virtual "road trip" instructor-led chair fitness class for seniors from YMCA360.
- Try making something new in your kitchen today with these 12 unique recipes from beloved restaurants from across the U.S.
May 27, 2020
- Logging 10,000 steps a day may seem daunting now, especially if you are stuck inside. Good news: studies show that walking 4,000 steps a day may reduce the risk of dying early from heart disease or cancer.
- Have you stepped into Matt's Kitchen yet? Make simple, healthy meals using common ingredients. Our recent favorite? A unique chickpea polenta sandwich!
- Spend six hours decompressing on the "Isle of Calm," a playlist of songs "encompassing classical, folk, jazz, ambient, pop, blues, soul, hip-hop, indie-rock and more" assembled by NPR Music's staff.
May 20, 2020
- Wake up your body and ease your muscles and joints so you feel limber and ready to face the day with this 11-minute Pilates routine from our Recharge with Us From Home series.
- While most restaurants are closed, now is a good time to get creative in the kitchen. What to do when you're missing an ingredient for that delicious new dish you want to try? Check out this guide to ingredient substitutions you can use instead.
- Make your shopping trips a little easier and healthier with this comprehensive guide based on what will keep the longest.
- Chances are you've already taken a few virtual tours of museums and far off locales from the comfort of home. Now take a virtual trip to Italy's gorgeous Cinque Terre Coast with nearly an hour of drone footage set to soothing music.
May 13, 2020
- Wedding season is upon us, and you may know a couple who has had to postpone or adjust their wedding plans. Here are some tips for supporting them from afar.
- Go on a South African safari from your home! Wild Earth broadcasts daily sunrise and sunset footage of animals in their natural habitat.
- Shine, in partnership with Mental Health America, has curated a wealth of resources to help you manage anxiety related to coronavirus, from isolation, xenophobia, financial fears, to ask an expert, and more.
May 7, 2020
- Join us at Matt's Kitchen, a cooking series that use everyday, common ingredients to prepare delicious meals. Look for new recipes every Wednesday!
- Take in some of the beauty of spring with this 20-minute virtual journey through a forest blooming with English bluebells. Emerge feeling more relaxed and at peace.
May 5, 2020
- Celebrate taco Tuesday and enjoy the health benefits of eating avocados by making Chipotle's famous guacamole recipe.
- With less frequent trips to the store, it can be hard to stock up on fresh produce and keep it fresh. A nutritionist shares tips on which items will last the longest so you can plan your meals accordingly.
April 30, 2020
- Take advantage of free online courses from Ivy League schools, from poetry, to justice to science and cooking and more!
- Check out the new home workouts geared toward older adults from YMCA 360.
- As you adjust to wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may experience some skin irritation. Learn how to remedy it here .
April 28, 2020
- You may have already taken a few virtual tours of art museums. Now you can also take free online courses on art and design from MoMA artists.
- Take yourself on an island getaway with a soothing virtual trip to Aruba.
- Qigong is a form of Chinese movement meditation similar to Tai Chi. Continued practice can lead to increased health, wellbeing and awareness. Qigong movements are gentle enough for all and can even be done sitting. Get started with this introductory video.
April 23, 2020
- First-time runners can “reverse” the aging of their cardiovascular systems up to 4 years, according to the European Society of Cardiology.
- Become an at-home citizen scientist with tips from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on bird watching, and surveying plants and soil.
- The World Health Organization in Europe recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. They offer tips on how to accomplish this at home.
April 16, 2020
- If you've been considering ordering takeout to help your local restaurants (or to give yourself a break from cooking), here are some tips for doing it safely.
- Time to dust off that old board game and play it virtually with your friends. Here's how.
- If you're new to yoga or want to revisit the practice, here's a primer for getting started.
April 14, 2020
- Get new recipes every Tuesday with Tasty Tuesdays from MetroWest YMCA's director of nutrition services.
- Famous illustrators are offering free online drawing classes so you can brush up on your creative skills from home.
- Now is a good time to take stock of items in your pantry and put them to creative use.
- Bring Broadway into your home with these 15 plays available to stream.
April 10, 2020
- Perhaps you watch the news regularly or have increased your consumption recently due to COVID-19. Here are some tips for staying informed while reducing any stress the news may cause.
- Self care is always important. Learn how this doctor is taking care of herself .
April 8, 2020
- For many of us, it's impossible to completely avoid going out in public to pick up essentials. Catch up on the CDC's recommendations for running essential errands.
- Social distancing may lead to feelings of loneliness. AARP has created this social isolation assessment that connects you to resources to mitigate the negative effects of isolation.
- The CDC has recommended that everyone wear face masks. Here are some tips for making them at home with materials you may already have.
April 6, 2020
- Brush up on your culinary skills or learn something new with cooking demos from celebrity chefs.
- Or just try one of these 30 recipes for lunch at home, from lentil soup to grilled cheese with apples.
- Track the blooming of Washington, D.C.'s iconic springtime cherry blossoms with the BloomCam.
April 3, 2020
- Take in the beauty of the Vatican museums with a 360 virtual tour, including close-up views of the magnificent Sistine Chapel ceiling!
- Spring is here and you may be missing your usual outdoor gardening. Here are some tips for growing indoors and on decks during quarantine.
April 2, 2020
- If you find getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week daunting, read these tips to fit it in or break it up and have fun in the process.
- Animal shelters in New York City and across the country are emptying out as people adopt dogs and cats. Contact your local shelters if you'd like to welcome a new friend to your home!
April 1, 2020
- Two resilient who women survived the Spanish Flu, Great Depression and the Holocaust share their advice for getting through this difficult time.
- Now is a good time to experiment with new recipes. Here are 35 healthy dinner recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes.
- People are decorating their windows with hearts and messages of hope. Find some inspiration and maybe even try it yourself!
March 31, 2020
- Scribd is making their library of millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazine articles, and more available to anyone, free, for 30 days through this link.
- Learn about the health benefits of creativity, and you'll be inspired to dig up that old sketchpad, coloring book, knitting or woodworking project.
- Good news—the same physician whose 1964 vaccine beat back rubella is working to defeat the new coronavirus!
March 30, 2020
- Curious about meditating and reaping all of its wonderful benefits? Get started with free meditations and support from Headspace!
- PBS shares four tips for seniors to stay connected during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World from your home with this virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
March 27, 2020
- Take these seven steps to manage your mental and physical health during social distancing.
- These uplifting stories of neighbors helping during the coronavirus will inspire you to do the same.
- Watch the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) live from directly underneath the aurora oval in Churchill, Manitoba, which is one of the best places on earth to view this ethereal phenomenon!
March 26, 2020
- Yesterday, we took you on a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Today, visit 10 more museums around the world, including an opportunity to spend some time in the ornate rooms of the Palace of Versailles and even get up close to the faces on the ceiling frescoes!
- Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. shares 10 ways to boost your immunity, many of which you may already have in your pantry (hint: garlic is one of them).
- With unprecedented mandates like social distancing and the many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, not to mention the actual loss of lives, you may find yourself grieving without even realizing it. Learn how to acknowledge and work through those feelings.
March 25, 2020
- It may feel like there isn't much good news about coronavirus, but Harvard Health Publishing has listed a few reasons for optimism.
- CNET has rounded up 10 ways to enrich and entertain yourself from home, including how you can access live streaming opera from The Metropolitan Opera!
- Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art without the crowds (and with soothing music) through the Met 360° Project.
March 24, 2020
- Catch up with six positive pieces of news from this week.
- Getting bored? Here's a list of free things that weren't free before coronavirus.
- Kitchen staples we're stocking up on—plus 25 family-friendly recipes you can make with them.
- Yale's massively popular 'happiness' course is available free online.
March 23, 2020
- These six science-backed activities can help you relax while you’re home.
- Here are 19 immersive museum exhibits you can visit from your couch.
- Need to get outside? These five national parks offer virtual tours.
- Psychology experts share their tips for safeguarding your mental health during quarantine.
March 20, 2020
- Dear Therapist’s guide to taking care of your mental health during a pandemic.
- New York Times rounded up some easy recipes for while you're quarantined.
- Fight stress with these healthy habits recommended by American Heart Association.
- Learn how to relieve stress through laughter.
- What to do if you're anxious about coronavirus.
March 19, 2020
- How to stock up on nutritious food.
- Fourteen world-class museums are offering virtual tours.
- Learn what therapists are telling patients who are anxious about coronavirus.
- Keeping a routine during uncertain times can be good for your mental health.
Stories of Hope and Inspiration
Looking for inspiration or solidarity? Look no further!
- In one of the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, individuals and organizations, including Meadowlands YMCA, are stepping up to serve their communities. Learn more about their work in this inspiring photo series.
- North Suburban YMCA and Covenant Living have launched the "Brighten Someone's Day" outreach progr
am. Designed to bring joy to senior residents struggling with isolation, they are putting a note, drawing, or message inside the resident's grocery bags.
- YMCA of the USA Anti-Hunger Initiatives Specialist, Stacey McDaniel, speaks about feeding food-insecure kids and families during a pandemic on this podcast from Add Passion and Stir.
- Colorado lined up child care for 1,000 essential workers in one week, Colorado Sun
- YMCA offers emergency child care for front-line workers desperate for help, Today.com
- YMCA of Silicon Valley served over 1,000 meals in one day at one site alone!
- This teen donated her tax return to YMCA of Centre County as they help feed kids in the community during school closures.
- Lakers star Kyle Kuzma has teamed up with YMCA of Greater Flint to donate meals to seniors being affected by the coronavirus.
Many Ys have set up hotlines so they can stay in touch with their community during closures. Find your your nearest Y through the link below to see what services they are offering to stay connected right now.