WCU, YMCA team up to challenges families to adopt healthier habits

Local families using the wellness amenities at the West Chester Area YMCA.

As new year’s resolutions become old news, faculty from West Chester University (WCU) and instructors from the YMCA encourage families to keep fitness at the forefront through a series of weekly health lessons and challenges that begin on February 22.

During the family-friendly Whole Health Challenge, eight lessons will be taught to registered participants, covering the many aspects of fitness – nutrition, movement, stress management and sleep quality. The curriculum was developed by faculty at WCU, who sought the support of the YMCA – a local hub for family health and wellness.

“We saw a need in the community to teach families that there are many ways to be fit,” explains Dr. Whitney Katirai, Assistant Chairperson for the Department of Health at WCU. “And we knew that the YMCA was the perfect partner in this mission because families already associate the Y with fitness.”

“The YMCA is passionate about wellness – and all of the factors that make up a healthy lifestyle,” comments Heather Bloodworth, Executive Mindfulness Coach at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine and Adjunct Professor for Mind Body Health at WCU. “It’s common to think of a treadmill, spin bike or stack of weights when you hear the word ‘fitness’ – but we want folks to know that fitness goes beyond the gym – and that it is fun to be fit.”

To focus on the fun aspect of fitness, WCU and the YMCA developed the Whole Health Challenge – a series of family-friendly health lessons where families challenge each other to meet goals. “Who better than your family to challenge you to get fit? You eat, sleep and play together. Why not get fit together?” asks Bloodworth.

“We absolutely want families to have fun in our program,” says Katirai. “To make the challenge extra fun, we’re adding a prize. Families who complete six of the eight weekly classes will be awarded a $50 gift card to GIANT.

The Whole Health Challenge kicks off at the Oscar Lasko YMCA on February 22. Registration is open to members and non-members.

To learn more and register for the Whole Health Challenge: https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/ymcagreaterbrandywine/activity/search/detail/117336

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