Healthy at Home - Staying Active

Stay Connected to Your Y Community While Practicing Social Distancing

The Y has always brought people together. During a time of community-mandated closures and recommendations to shut down programs and limit gatherings, Ys are maintaining connections with their communities at a distance online.

Healthy at Home - Staying Active

At-Home Workouts

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.

BARRE

This is our revolution that blends the best of ballet and strength in a safe and exciting class.

BOOTCAMP

Our circuit-based classes are energetic, fun and allow you to tailor the workout intensity to your fitness and skill level.

TAI CHI

This unique martial art is for all ages and levels. Tai Chi promotes strength, coordination, posture, concentration, and energy level.

WEIGHTLIFTING

Learn the basics of core Olympic lifts with professional instruction and demonstration.

Y BOX

Our homegrown boxing program, YBOX is a total-body workout featuring the basics of boxing from punching and elbow strikes to footwork and defense.

YOGA

With different levels for everyone, Y yoga is an effective combination of traditional movements and mindfulness using flexibility, breathing and strength.

Recharge with the Y From Home

Find a sense of peace and connection with your body while releasing tension with this at-home video series led by PMA-certified Pilates instructor, certified Breathwork facilitator and Clinical Qigong practitioner, Tutu Mora (Dorothy). We'll feature a new video every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3pm CST here on YouTube.

My Y Virtual

The My Y Virtual YouTube channel features a variety of workouts, from Pilates, to Tabata, to mind body and cardio and strength and a 14-minute workout specifically for active older adults.

Stay virtually connected to the Y through these activities from Ys across the U.S. that will help you maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit from the comfort of your home.

Please note that we use affiliate links, including Amazon Smile, which donates a small percentage of purchases back to the Y.

Weekly Resource Roundup

We're sourcing the web for resources on staying healthy mentally and physically while practicing social distancing, including ways to have some fun from home, like recipes and virtual museum tours!


December 2020

  • This year may be challenging but chances are you have gotten creative and made some good memories. Remember moments of joy and resilience through scrapbooking. Check out LifeStyle's scrapbooking 101 for ideas and inspiration.
     
  • Getting the right amount of quality rest can help how we think, feel, and act. The La Crosse Area Family YMCA has compiled a list of things that can help us fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Learn more about their Dinner Table Resilience Toolkit.
     
  • When was the last time you tried learning something new? Foster your sense of curiosity with free online courses from Ivy League schools. Many classes are starting this month, including Understanding the Body, Introduction to Classical Music, the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, and many more!
     
  • As the weather gets colder, it becomes more difficult to get out of the house, move our bodies, and get the fresh air we need. These 9 tips will keep you walking safely this winter. Try this pre-walk warmup before you leave the house!

November 25, 2020

  • While the holidays may look a bit different this year, we still have reasons to feel thankful, relationships to feel grateful for and opportunities to experience joy. This short video will gently help you focus your energy on gratitude.
     
  • How are you checking in with friends and loved ones? Whether virtually or in-person, consider these tips for and alternatives to the complicated question "How are you?" to foster deeper and more meaningful connections. Learn more and check out these important resources from the La Crosse Area Family YMCA.

November 18, 2020

  • Keep your hands busy and release some stress by making your own playdough! Use soothing colors and relaxing aromatherapy essential oils to create the ultimate stress-reducing sensory experience.
     
  • Stretching can yield significant pain and stress relief. Try this gentle morning stretch routine to start, end or break up your day!

November 11, 2020

November 4, 2020

  • According to Psychology Today, decluttering your home is a great way to stay active and reduce anxiety. Try tackling small spaces at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and consider donating the gently used clothing and books you no longer need! Contact your local Y to see what supply drives are currently underway or start your own with neighbors and friends.
     
  • Is your walking routine in a rut? Check out these 10 simple ways to make walking more fun and creative!

October 28, 2020

  • Squash is in season! Check out these tips and tricks for adding in more and varied types of squash into your menu.
     
  • 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 affects people of all ages and populations. It 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

October 7, 2020

  • Kickboxing can be a fun way to mix up your workout routine. This 32-minute total body cardio boxing class is sure to give you a great workout and no equipment is necessary.
  • Staying positive during times of uncertainty can be a difficult task. When you’re feeling additional stress try one of these 7 tips to relieve stress and be more optimistic.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Looking to burn off some energy or add some extra cardio into your fitness routine? The My Y Virtual channel on YouTube offers a cardio and strength playlist. In just under 30 minutes this Tabata workout is sure to get you moving.
     
  • Cooling down and stretching after a workout is equally as important as completing the workout itself. These 10 cool-down exercises can help your body better recover after a workout.
     
  • 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.

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

  • Take your home workout routine to the next level with these weightlifting videos from YMCA360. You'll learn the basics of core Olympic lifts with professional instruction and demonstration.
     
  • 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

  • The IT band, or iliotibial band, that runs down the outside of the thigh connecting to the knee can become tight and over-stressed from running, excessive walking or weak hip muscles. This 15-minute gentle stretch routine will help give you some relief from IT band discomfort, making your next walk, jog or just relaxing more comfortable.
     
  • 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 are working from home and finding it hard to block out the noise from your family, neighbors, etc., here are some tips for making your space quieter.

August 19, 2020

  • 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.
     
  • If you've always been nervous about dancing in public or are just looking to mix up your home workout routine, try these dance workouts from YMCA360. You can let loose and learn new moves from the comfort of your home while getting a great cardio workout!
     
  • It's not easy maintaining relationships when we can't gather like we used to. Here are five tips for seeing friends safely now that don't involve the ubiquitous Zoom party.

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.
     
  • Work the muscles of your Core, including the larger supporting systems, and feel stronger and more centered with this this 26-minute core workout.
  • 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.
     
  • Did you know you can do barre workouts from home? You'll just need to grab a chair for this barre booty fusion.

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.
     
  • Did you know that posture affects your physical, emotional and social well-being? In this 11-minute Pilates video, you’ll go through a short series of exercises to help re-align your posture after a long day of desk sitting. You’ll be taking fuller breaths and feeling brighter and more confident in no time!
     
  • 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.

  • While some of our favorite summer activities aren't available this year due to physical distancing guidelines, this summer doesn't have to be a bummer. Here are 43 ideas for fun things to do.

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? Try these upper body (25 min.) and lower body (32 min.) bootcamp workouts from YMCA360. Both include modifications to fit different fitness levels and can be done with weights or objects around your home.
     
  • If you're working from home, you may enjoy sleeping in a bit since you don't have to commute, yet you find that you feel even more tired lately. Here are six reasons why and how you can counteract the fatigue.

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.
     
  • Losing a job is more than just a loss to income; it can impact how we see ourselves. These eight steps will help you cope with your own personal job loss and support others who lose their job.
     
  • 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, served with steamed mushrooms, sieved eggs, Dijon vinaigrette and mayo toast.

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.
     
  • There are days when we only have a few minutes left for physical activity. These five total-body workouts can be done in your spare moments without any equipment.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Working from home? Mayo Clinic put together a simple guide to making your home office ergonomic.
     
  • The summer concert and music festival season is upon us and it looks much different this year. Coca-Cola has partnered with #BeApp to livestream 100 concerts over 60 days.

May 27, 2020

  • Is there a 2020 grad in your life? On May 28th, the Y will host a Senior Celebration featuring guest speakers, interactive prompts and a virtual voter registration drive. Invited speakers include Olympians, governors, Y leaders and more! Register here.
     
  • 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

  • Have you been spending a lot of time sitting, like in virtual meetings? This is your invitation to release some of the tension that builds in the neck and shoulders after extended periods of sitting with an easy 10-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.
     
  • Have you've been experiencing brain fog, lack of motivation or other unfamiliar feelings lately? Learn more about the physiological responses in our bodies that lead to these feelings during times of stress and uncertainty and tips for how to manage them.
     
  • 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!
     
  • Allow yourself a 20-minute break to be transported to a forest blooming with English bluebells. Emerge feeling more relaxed and at peace.

May 5, 2020

April 30, 2020

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

  • 20-30 minute walks in nearby nature while maintaining social distancing can greatly reduce stress according to this study.
     
  • Are you bored and figuratively climbing the walls? This 15 year-old girl built an 8-foot climbing wall in one week so she could literally do just that.
     
  • Pets need exercise too. Here are tips on keeping them active during stay-at-home orders.

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

April 10, 2020

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. Here are five tips to combat loneliness when working from home.
     
  • 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

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.
     
  • Just because you're home may not mean you have more time for meal preparation. 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 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 new career skills or brush up on current ones with free virtual events and webinars from the likes of Salesforce, Adobe and more.
     
  • 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!
     
  • The arrival of spring may have you hankering to take your workout outside. Learn more about outdoor activities in the time of coronavirus, and as always, please heed the advice of your personal physician.
     
  • 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

March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

March 20, 2020

March 19, 2020

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 program. 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.

How You Support the Y

Right now, Ys across the country are providing emergency services for communities in need, including childcare for health care workers and first responders, food for kids without access to school meals, virtual learning spaces, shelter to at-risk populations and outreach to isolated seniors. Ys are also providing holistic health and wellness support for all ages, including virtual programming, and a safe spaces for children who need support with virtual learning. Donate to the Y so these critical services can continue.

The YMCA of the USA is a not-for-profit, section 501(c)(3).