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Alternatives to high-impact exercise

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No matter what your exercise goals look like, the YMCA has something for you.

Exercise isn’t a one-size-fits-all. You could be just starting to work out, an experienced fitness fanatic, or rehabilitating from an injury or surgery. There are plenty of reasons that your fitness journey will (and should) vary from other people’s.

No matter what your exercise goals look like—the YMCA has something for you, especially if you’re looking for low-impact options. Here are three ways anyone can get fit at the YMCA:

1. Enhance Fitness. Enhance Fitness is a nationally implemented program and is offered for free at the YMCA six times a week. This is an evidence-based program that tracks your progress in three major areas: strength, speed, and balance. When you join the class, you’ll receive a one-on-one evaluation and will be retested every three months to measure your success.

Not only will you see significant improvements in your balance, strength, and speed, but you’ll also form a community with other participants, which is just as powerful (if not more powerful) than the physical gains made with this program.

2. Low-impact classes. Perhaps you’re not looking for something as toned down as Enhance Fitness, but you’re also not ready for high-intensity workouts. There’s a middle ground!

The YMCA has low-impact group exercise classes that give the same exercise experience as a high-intensity class but without the jumping and hard-on-your-joints movements.

These classes are also perfect for those who are recovering from surgery or have previous injuries that may cause trouble during high impact routines. Choose from yoga, Zumba Gold, Flex & Stretch, Pilates, and more.

3. Aqua fitness. Swim and perform resistance training exercises in the pool to build muscle and strength in a low-impact setting. “Exercising in the water creates 12 times the resistance than if you went through the same motion on land with no additional weight,” says aqua fitness instructor, Laura Harrand.

In the water, it feels as if you’re only 35 percent of your body weight, which puts less stress on your joints, Harrand says. The water provides hydrostatic pressure which helps hold you upright and makes your body feel more supported in the water.

Both the West Y and Central Y locations have aqua fitness classes with pool temperatures between 84-88 degrees.

The YMCA offers over 130 FREE group exercise classes to members every week.

If you are looking for a personalized fitness experience, personal training is also available. You could incorporate some of the above options or opt for a completely customized plan. Visit www.gtbayymca.org or stop by one of three locations today.

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