Improving Community Health & Well-Being
YMCA Expands Programs to Strengthen Overall Health for Individuals and Families in Wake of Pandemic
By: YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy
The nonprofit organization is rolling out a host of free programs in the new year designed to promote wellness and support healthy living, including access to health education and screenings and programs that reduce risk for disease and help reclaim health.
"The Y is here to help our community continue to recover from the pandemic and to start the year strong with a focus on improving individual and community well-being,"
"Now more than ever, the Y is connecting our members and the greater community to a wide variety of activities designed to help everyone grow healthier in spirit, mind and body," Cushing said. "At the Y, we believe well-being goes far beyond just working out. It's also about belonging to a caring, supportive community."
In collaboration with Hackensack Meridian Health's JFK University Medical Center, MEWSA will begin a new series of health seminars and screenings in January at each of its fitness centers in Edison, Metuchen, Piscataway, and South Amboy. Heart health will be the focus in January and February with additional programs planned for all ages and interests throughout the year. The programs are free and open to all.
Those recovering from cancer are encouraged to participate in an upcoming LIVESTONG at the YMCA Program to help rebuild physical strength and connect with fellow cancer survivors. "We know how important physical activity can be while recovering from cancer," Cushing said. MEWSA was among the first Ys in the country to pilot the program 15 years ago, Cushing noted. Approximately 700 area residents have participated in the free, 12-week program, which will be expanded to all four MEWSA fitness centers in 2023.
MEWSA will be resuming its free Blood Pressure Monitoring program at the Metuchen YMCA. The no-cost, four-month program helps participants lower high blood pressure and prevent hypertension with support from certified Healthy Heart Ambassadors.
MEWSA is also pleased to give members a new way to stay connected with the Y and work towards their health goals at home, work or other locations with YMCA360. The 24/7 on-demand video platform offers over 1,000 exercise classes and enriching programs for every member of the family.
For members and residents wanting to give back to the community, MEWSA welcomes volunteers for its Togetherhood Program. Throughout the year, Y members and friends will lead projects to support community organizations and events.
MEWSA reminds parents of seventh-grade students that the Y offers a free membership during the school year that includes access to fitness equipment, pools, gyms and recreation programs. Nearly 400 seventh graders are currently participating in the seventh-grade youth development program.
Elizabeth Bennett, director of financial development at MEWSA, noted that the free programming offered to members and greater community is made possible by individual and business donations, grants, and fundraising activities. Philanthropic support also funds the Y's Membership for All program that offers financial assistance to individuals and families in need of Y programs and services.
"The Y is grateful for the support we receive from generous donors that helps us fulfill our commitment to strengthening our community," Bennett said.
For more information about YMCA programs or membership, visit the MEWSA website at YMCAofMEWSA.org.
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