Family can bond while getting fit

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 6, 2003

Special to the News-Herald

Have you ever wanted to get the whole family involved in a healthy fitness activity? You can do it at the Suffolk Family YMCA. YMCAs are active in more than 10,000 communities across the country.

The mission of the Suffolk Family YMCA, along with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. This is accomplished in part through physical health education, use of state-of-the-art equipment, group exercise, and fitness evaluations, all under the instruction and supervision of certified and trained staff.

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The whole family can participate in fitness activities at the YMCA. The organization offers financial assistance to those in need and does not turn away anyone due to inability to pay membership or program fees. Partial subsidies made possible through the We Build People fund may be awarded, based on the individual’s demonstrated ability to pay, the YMCA’s ability to fund the subsidy, and the availability of space.

The YMCA supports families by providing them with opportunities for spending time together in meaningful ways through sports events, camp programs, family nights and more importantly family workout programs.

Also, the group exercise program for adults offers yoga, pilates, kickboxing, step, step circuit, body design, aquacise, and the new group cycling class called spinning. Adults can also choose to participate in FitQuest, which is a personalized fitness program. FitLinxx is an interactive software program with a personalized workout set up by a FitQuest coach.

For youth and teens, the YMCA offers basketball, soccer, karate, swim team, and swimming lessons. The FitLinxx program is also available for teens (TeenQuest) and youth (KidQuest).

Other health and fitness programs include fitness assessments, adult fitness orientations, youth fitness orientations, and getting started and basic nutrition informational sessions.

The YMCA’s fitness assessment program measures the following: blood pressure, resting heart rate, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, body fat

percentage and flexibility. This evaluation determines a member’s current fitness level and provides a base from which to measure future fitness accomplishments.

The adult and youth fitness orientations are strongly recommended by the YMCA.

The orientations include an introduction to the equipment in the fitness center and they take place in individual appointments for adults, and parent/child appointments for teens and youth.

The getting started and basic nutrition sessions are basic informative classes that are scheduled on a regular basis and free of charge for members.

It takes a strong family unit with strong community support to develop and nurture the family unit, and the YMCA stands ready to help make that a reality.

Anna Stevens is program director of the Suffolk Family YMCA, a member of the Suffolk Healthy Eating Task Force. The Task Force is a sub-committee of the Partnership for a Healthy Community. Its mission is to coordinate the resources of the community in a collaborative effort to improve the mental, physical, socio-economic, and spiritual health of all its citizens.

For more information on the Healthy Eating Task Force, contact Virginia Savage at 934-4933. For more information about the YMCA, call 934-9622, stop in for a tour, or visit For more information on the Healthy Eating Task Force, contact Virginia Savage at 934-4933.