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Sewickley Valley YMCA expands offerings for coming year

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Sewickley Valley YMCA Wellness Instructor Amy McCoy-Gertis leads an aerobics class.
Sewickley Valley YMCA Wellness Instructor Amy McCoy-Gertis leads an aerobics class.

Participants in Sewickley Valley YMCA programs will have more options in 2014, and can look forward to a renovated child care facility to be completed in the spring.

Adriane Stoner, Y senior director for health and wellness and a dietitian, will run the new Healthy Lifestyles program to be held from Jan. 11 through March 22.

Stoner said the program, open to members and non-members, combines exercise, nutrition and lifestyle coaching to help participants improve long-term wellness.

“Participants will keep a food journal that is used to teach them self-awareness of their specific habits,” Stoner said. “Weight loss has to be something that becomes lifestyle habits, not a quick fix that everyone wants. You do need to invest the time to make it happen and allow yourself to make lifelong changes that can be sustained.”

The Y will offer other new fitness classes with a variety of formats to accommodate all levels of fitness.

The Body in Balance class is designed to improve balance, posture and muscle conditioning. Participants will use use BOSU balls (a half ball with a flat bottom), rollers, stability balls and weights. Ski Fit is designed to get the body ready for the ski season and will combine aerobic, core and interval training. Advanced Yoga, a 75-minute class, is designed to challenge the seasoned yoga participant.

Certified personal trainers will instruct one-hour Saturday Wellness Workshops, held once a month, January through May, focusing on the use of alternative exercise equipment, including kettlebells, stability balls, rollers and medicine balls.

Cardio Blast will have a new format consisting of 100 percent cardiovascular exercise — steps, double step and floor exercises.

Also to be added are classes designed for those new to exercising or returning to working out.

They include Fit to Start, a 30-minute gentle aerobic class; Chair Zumba, a Latin dance class done in a chair; Beginner Barre, 30-minute class using dance movements to improve posture, balance and core conditioning; Weight Training for Beginners, a class with a maximum of five participants, led by a certified personal trainer; Soft Flex, a 30-minute gentle stretching class that is done in a chair;

Beginner Cycle, a 45-minute group cycle class; and Simply Splash, a cardio workout with resistance in the pool for those who want to spare their joints the impact of regular walking or jogging.

Also new in 2014 is Books Alive, reading, crafts and physical activities for children, ages 2-3, and parents: Family YMCA Triathlon at the Y and War Memorial Park to consist of swimming, biking and running; Fit 4 Life, a monthly exercise activity for teens through the Y's OASIS after-school program for middle and high-school students; the senior prom, Feb. 15, for ages 55 and older; and adaptive private swim lessons for youth.

Upgrade progresses

The Y is in the midst of renovating its child care facilities.

The $2.5 million project is scheduled to be completed in the spring, said CEO Trish Hooper. The Y serves about 325 children a day in preschool and school-aged child care programs in the Quaker Valley, Cornell, Moon Area and Ambridge Area school districts, and provides financial assistance for those in need of affordable child care.

“The crews are almost finished with the interior demolition work and have already begun placing the new windows on the third floor and working on the elevator shaft,” Hooper said.

“We can't wait to get our kids back into the Y and into a new space that's built specifically for them and their learning experience.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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