Even with all eight of its branches closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine has continued to meet the needs of its members and community in many ways, including through virtual fitness.
In March, when the government-ordered shutdown went into effect, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine had to close its doors. However, members continued to ask for at-home workouts, sharing that they missed the YMCA community. The YMCA’s fitness instructors immediately jumped in, offering classes from their homes via Facebook Live and YouTube.
Since mid-March, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s fitness classes have been viewed more than 100,000 times on both platforms.
“Our mission is to strengthen our community,” said President and CEO Denise Day. “We knew our community needed the Y now more than ever, and our team wasted no time in responding. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, which everyone has been feeling for months at this point. It’s been inspiring to see the connections online between our instructors and those taking the classes. I couldn’t be prouder of our team for stepping out of their comfort zones to make virtual classes a possibility within days of the government-ordered shutdown.”
Seeing such a great response to its virtual fitness classes, the YMCA purchased a few pieces of equipment that has enhanced the production quality of its videos, and it plans to add additional virtual classes over the next several months.
The virtual fitness schedule includes classes for the entire family, including seniors. Everything from Yoga to cross-training, Pilates, BodyAttack, BodyCombat, and more are currently available. Dozens of other workouts – from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to gentle yoga – are available via the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s YouTube channel.
YMCA member Corrine Clark and her four children have been doing the workouts since March.
“I don’t know how I’d survive without them,” she said. “I’m really impressed with the instructors – that they’ve been in their own homes and studio doing this for us. They’re the best, and you can tell they love it.”
In addition to fitness, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine has responded to the many needs of Chester County during this pandemic by hosting blood drives to address a critical blood shortage in the community and food drives. To date, the YMCA has collected 12,000 pounds of food that has been distributed to more than 500 families.