Health, Well-Being & Fitness
Our Winter I Session runs from January 5 - February 22 and our Winter II Session runs from March 2 - April 19.
Join us for this one day workshop at our Greater Portland branch! For older adults, falls are one of the greatest causes of serious health problems. By participating in this workshop you can find out if you may be at risk for falls. You will leave having learned several ways to improve your balance, including simple exercises and programs that are available at the Y.
Burnt Meadow is a small mountain with big thrills in Brownfield. Enjoy the views of the surrounding White Mountains and the Maine Coast on a clear day. Wear comfortable clothing and bring water.
Participants will compete in this two day event that will use 10 events to measure all areas of fitness including strength, power, endurance, balance, and coordination. Top prize to the winner of each division including an overall grand prize winner for top male and female. This year there are ten team divisions. Sponsor your favorite athletes as they compete in this great Annual Campaign Event!
Join the Greater Portland Branch’s wellness director at the local Hannaford for monthly informational sessions.
Join us for these workshops and learn what meditation is like! During this time you’ll learn the benefits that a daily practice of meditation can provide; a deeper place of focus and enhanced mind-body consciousness. Daily meditation will promote relaxation, strengthen spiritual well-being and build internal energy. By following these inward focused techniques you may also relieve stress, reduce anxiety and enhance overall well-being. Come and learn what it’s all about!
A plant-strong diet is an easy and delicious way to prevent & reverse disease, lose weight, and save money. At this 90 minute workshop, we’ll discuss meal & snack ideas, grocery shopping, dining out, picky eaters and more! Join us as we prepare & sample food and learn about the numerous health benefits of a plant-strong diet. Marie Coyle, a YMCA staff, will present this great get together to educate all on how this way of life can move you along your healthy living continuum. Marie shares: “I’ve been plant-based longer than I’ve been a minimalist and when I decided to live a life of less, my plant-based diet wasn’t so much as a passing thought. After all, what could my diet have to do with my choice to buy less stuff and de-clutter? Though as time has gone on, I’ve realized just how interconnected these two lifestyle designs are. It isn’t just that both have brought me happiness and a sort of inner peace I was longing for. No, it’s deeper than that.”
T’ai Chi has been documented as enhancing coordination, flexibility and the respiratory system. This one class is designed to give information to those who desire to learn the art of T’ai Chi. Participants will learn modifications to T’ai Chi in an upright seated position for those who are unable to stand for any length of time.
For over a century, the Visiting Nurse Association has been at home with the people of Southern Maine. Whether caring for a frail newborn infant, helping an elderly patient remain independent or providing palliative care for a life limiting illness, we are committed to compassion and clinical excellence. The professional team provides the care you need to make the transition from hospital to home where friends and family can support your recovery and ease the uncertainty of illness. The Visiting Nurse Association will have a representative talk with you about your options, many are free or covered under your health care insurance.
In this 2 hour workshop we will experience gentle flow and the rest within intentional healing space. In the first part we will dive into chakra opening flow sequence incorporating postures (asanas), pranayama (breathing techniques) and mudras (hand positions). We will move and flow from each chakra center focusing on healing and self-care. In the second part we will experience deep restorative practice assisted with gentle and nurturing hands healing touch (Reiki) assist. The yoga increases the flow of energy (prana) and creates space in the body to receive healing energy. The combination of Yoga and Reiki increases relaxation, stress reduction, and promotes healing while enhancing the mind, body, spirit connection we all have available to us.
Come and meet with our trained volunteer at Portland on Saturdays around 12pm and have your blood pressure checked while you are at the Y! Northern York County also provides blood pressure checks. Look for times and dates at this branch by referring to the posting at the front desk. Casco Bay blood pressure screenings are done every other week during Cards and Coffee. Call the branch for more information!
Keep track of important health information and track your progress throughout your healthy living journey. A Wellness Coach will help chart your health measurements: including weight, body circumference measurements, body fat percentage and body mass index.
Are you unsure of what direction to take to improve your health and well-being? Designed for all Health Seekers, this consultation will give you an opportunity to meet with a Y Fitness Specialist to discuss your healthy living goals, your interests, and any special concerns that should be considered. Together you will explore what programs, classes and other resources might provide you wit the motivation and support at the YMCA to make healthy lifestyle changes to meet these goals. This consultation will take approximately 45 minutes and will be primarily conversation based.
At the Y, we believe healthy living is about the complete person. That is why we focus not just on physical health, but on nine different ‘dimensions’ that affect your overall wellbeing. In this program, we will focus on the dimension of Health specifically (which includes both physical activity and nutrition), as well as work with you to identify other dimensions of wellbeing that are important to you personally. Through the design of this group program, we’ll also focus on the dimensions of relationships, and of course, Achievement. The seven-week program includes: individual start & finish fitness assessments with a personal trainer, a nutritional consultation with a nutritionist to establish a nutrition plan, a group coaching session to explore ways to help you to be as successful as possible as you go through this healthy living program, group exercise classes, healthy eating and cooking workshops, and a participant handbook.
This special seven-week program is designed to assist Y members who may be seeking help with getting started with a fitness program and how to develop a healthier lifestyle. This program and our coaches will help you discover your own way to a healthier life, starting with the basics. Your trainer and coach will work with you each week to guide you on your own path to a healthier life!
The assessment is comprised of eight tests which evaluate body composition, cardio respiratory endurance, flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. This provides information on an individual’s fitness status and can be used in health enhancement, as well as setting future goals for training.
Training for an event, stuck in an exercise rut, or just want someone to push you a little harder? Then get a personal trainer! Whether you are looking to hit the weights with our experienced trainers or focus on a fitness interest, we have a trainer to suit your goals. Our trainers can target running, indoor cycling, yoga, strength training, cardio conditioning, weight loss, and general fitness. A great way to increase confidence and knowledge that with guidance and coaching, you can accomplish your goals!
Personal Training for you and your friends! Put together a small group of 2-4 people and come benefit from our trainers! They can help your friends target running, indoor cycling, yoga, T’ai Chi, strength training, cardio conditioning, weight loss, nutrition or general fitness. It’s a great way to increase your confidence and knowledge that, with guidance, your small group can accomplish its goals!
Ages: 18 & up
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free 12 week, research-based physical activity and well-being program, designed to help adult cancer survivors reclaim their total health. This small group program meets twice a week for 75 min each class. The program provides a safe and supportive environment for cancer survivors to
regain their physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. This program will be offered free to any community member and, in support of the whole family, includes a complimentary family membership for the 12 weeks the program is in session.
Pre-Registration and Membership Required
Living Well for Better Health is a nationally recognized workshop for adults of all ages who are managing ongoing health problems or concerns, or care for people who do. This interactive program will help you to: Stop the symptom cycle, deal with frustration and fatigue, eat and exercise for better health, set personal goals and achieve them, and much more! Classes are held once a week for 7 weeks.
Whether you are a new member or a long time member, an orientation is a great introduction to everything the Wellness Center has to offer. A Wellness Coach will show you how to correctly use the cardiovascular equipment and discuss Wellness Center etiquette. A great way for new members to be exposed to all areas of the Y! We will meet with you and teach you how to use the exercise equipment and advise on which classes would be appropriate for your present level of fitness.
We offer group lessons for all swimmers from the beginning adult swimmer who is not confident in the water, to the advanced swimmer looking for help with their technique.BEGINNER: The goal of this swim lesson is to increase confidence and basic water skills including breath control, floating, swimming on front and back, treading water, and water safety. INTERMEDIATE: The goal of this swim lesson is to increase your basic swim stroke techniques. You will develop stroke skills further, learn body position, and rotary breathing. Should be able to swim a length of the big pool confidently.ADVANCED: The goal of this swim lesson is to work towards perfecting your stroke technique. You will develop stroke skills further, master body position, learn flip turns. Workout plans can be developed in this class.
These lessons are for individuals who prefer one on one instruction or whose schedule varies week to week. Call the Y with any questions. Time and days are tailored to meet the needs of participants.
These lessons are for individuals who prefer one on one instruction or whose schedule varies week to week. Call the Y with any questions. Time and days are tailored to meet the needs of participants. Minimum of two individuals required for Semi-Private lessons. Please note, individuals need to have similar swimming ability.
Get fit in the water! Your heart will be pumping. Join us for a variety of water exercises that focus on the whole body. Instructors will keep you on your toes with shallow and deep water, use of music, aqua barbells, noodles, and other equipment. The water helps to support joints, promotes balance, and working against the current gives you just the right amount of resistance.
This class is designed for people who need to exercise in warm water due to arthritis or other muscle or joint problems. We work on everyday range of motion skills in our heated pool. Enjoy a class with an active group of adults who work on their wellness in the pool and who socialize outside the pool.
This higher intensity class using shallow water as well as deep water with something for the entire body. Resistance barbells will be used throughout the workout. This class is taught in the I-Pool at the Portland Branch and the main pool at Casco Bay. This class is also offered as a very moderate exercise circuit training class at Pineland.
Designed for before and during pregnancy. This class will reward you with incredible wellness benefits for you and your baby. Safe exercise during pregnancy increases flexibility, improves recovery after childbirth, and improves emotional well-being. Both land and water will be used. Class is taught by Nancy Charlebois, PT, MT.
Using the resistance of the water, combined with some floatation, we will focus on nothing but your core for 30 minutes in our small pool.
T’ai chi is a self-healing system of slow, graceful exercises that combine movement, meditation and rhythmic breathing to improve the flow of chi which is thought to prevent illness and improve well-being. T’ai Chi may reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help older adults by improving posture, balance, muscle tone, flexibility and strength.
This class will ease you into the concepts of yoga and aid you in learning how to connect both your body and mind by practicing calming and centering postures. Beginners Yoga will help you listen to how you feel physically and mentally. This class is excellent for beginners.
Yoga postures when applied consciously, encourage concentration, inner stillness, perseverance, patience, self-acceptance, objective self-observation and a sense of humor, all of which benefit the mind and overall health. Yoga is described as the “doorway” to our inner world.
Power yoga flows not only provide a full body work out, but also therapeutic healing. This class focuses closely on individual needs and provides modification for poses. All are welcome to experience the body, mind & spirit connection that a yoga workout provides, while moving out stress, tension, and toxins. Feel stronger, centered, and up right. Great for core strengthening, which helps support the back, along with many other structural benefits.
Qi Gong has been practiced in China for thousands of years, and is often called “Chinese Yoga.” “Qi” means vital energy and “Gong” means to work or cultivate. The exercises integrate mind/body/spirit, and consist of both dynamic, moving forms and quiet, still meditations. All movements are done with an awareness of relaxation and tranquility. Qi Gong is effective for reducing stress, enhancing energy, and movement of Qi in the organs and meridians. It can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities.
The physical practice of Yin consists of mostly seated or lying postures. Postures are usually held for 3-5 minutes. Because of the long duration of postures, one of the key values cultivated in the practice of yin yoga is patience. It is said that the best time for a Yin practice is early in the day, before the muscles have been warmed up by physical activity. Yin postures are almost entirely passive. During the practice, muscles are relaxed. Yin Yoga is said to promote growth and flexibility, clear energetic blockages and enhance circulation. Yin Yoga targets the connective tissue, specifically ligaments and tendons in the joints and spine. Over time, practice of yin yoga can lengthen these tissues, bringing back flexibility and range of motion. Because of the drastic changes one sees in their body while engaged in a regular Yin practice, some have referred to this as “The Fountain of Youth”
This class emphasizes the Kripalu Yoga connection of mind, body and spirit. Beginning with centering and pranayama (yogic breathing), then moving into more active and challenging flow series of postures, salutations and balancing, followed by stretching and relaxation.
All levels mat class. Pilates is a class that is a cross between Yoga, stretching and calisthenics; leaving you with a feeling of physical and mental well-being. This multilevel class blends the essential and intermediate exercises of mat Pilates repertoire with correct progression allowing for a great workout while fostering basic principles and fundamentals of mat Pilates format.
A full-body workout designed for all fitness levels combining techniques from sport-like activities and exercises using your own body weight to achieve ultimate results. A class like this, which utilizes interval style training, is a great way to improve your fitness.
Get the sweat dripping and keep your muscles guessing as you improve your cardiovascular strength and endurance along with flexibility. This circuit style class will include a variety of routines that will help work your cardiovascular system.
Experience the best training for your age group. Want to get some of your youthful bounce, strength, and balance back? This is a group class with strengthening, cardio, quickness, flexibility, and relaxation activities.
Already feeling pretty peppy, but want to stop time from taking the pep out of your aging body, and put some kick back into it? This class integrates posture, balance, strength, and agility to help you look, act, and feel younger.
This is a movement based class designed to restore soft tissue. With a full body approach the student will address all elements that limit motion and work through these challenges. Many injuries can be prevented by addressing tissue needs that realign, lengthen, and restructure the body for better mobilization. Please bring your own roller and lacrosse ball (or some type of small ball) to class.
This class is centered around the major strength lifts and increasing total body strength. Each week the class uses low rep high intensity training to reach new personal records (P.R.s). This class requires some level of self direction and record keeping but all levels are welcome.
For every muscle, there’s the perfect tone. In the Y Power Flex classes, you’ll work with a series of weights and weight machines along with a variety of stability balls, bands and other fitness tools. This class will help you feel the burn as you begin to condition all major muscle groups. New to weights? This is the perfect class to pump you up. Sculpt and burn to the level you desire in this 45 minute class.
This circuit style class uses barbells, kettle bells, bodyweight, and other forms of resistance to achieve better muscular stamina, strength, and overall conditioning. The class format is always fresh and challenging. All levels are welcome.
YMCA group cycling is a non-impact, individually paced cardiovascular workout on specially designed fitness bikes. (The Greater Portland branch uses LeMond bikes). Cycling is the most comprehensive mental and physical training program developed and led by extensively trained and certified instructors. Inspirational music and non-competitive environment ensures a fun, safe, effective experience for all fitness levels.
This dance fitness class is all about the music. By using basic steps (and a whole lot of hips!), anyone can join! Whether you are a novice dancer or a professional, you will have a blast and forget you’re working out. Join in on the latest fitness craze!
Session 1: Jan. 6 – Feb. 15
Do you want to train for one of Maine’s most unique athletic events? This class will get you ready for the 2014 YMCA Peaks to Portland race! Each session will build upon the previous, helping you to gain strength, stamina, and prepare for the ocean swim (whether you’ve completed the race before or are trying it for the first time). In addition, this class will eventually take you outside into the ocean for practice. We’ll discuss the logistics of race day and how to prepare you and your kayaker for the swim. The trainings include overall fitness and strength trainings as well. Join the Y as you prepare for their longest running special event.
This seven week program will help you achieve a higher level of fitness and remain injury free throughout the upcoming lacrosse season. You will work hard to improve your strength, speed, agility, balance and coordination to help you keep up with the fast paced season of refereeing.
Get ready for the Tri for the Y! Whether you just completed in your first tri or are looking for a great training program to enhance your performance, this is the course for you! Our experienced triathlon experts will lead you through a class that will include swimming, cycling (indoor), and running (treadmill or outdoor). Due to the number of indoor bikes, there are maximums for each class, so sign up early! Non-members must be registered for the event before registering for this training class.
The American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program helps participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies. The courses in this program teach skills that participants need to know to give immediate care to a suddenly injured or ill person until more advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. This certification is good for 2 years following course completion. This class is not for professional rescuers such as EMTs or Lifeguards. This is a full certification course with no prior certification or training required. Please contact your local branch for more details.
The American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program helps participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies. The courses in this program teach skills that participants need to know to give immediate care to a suddenly injured or ill person until more advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. This certification is good for 2 years following course completion. This class is not for professional rescuers such as EMTs or Lifeguards. This is a RE-CERTIFICATION course. Participants must have proof of a current American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid certification to participate. Please contact your local branch for more details.
Ages: 15 & up
Get your lifeguard certification. Training includes Surveillance/Victim Recognition, CPR/AED, First Aid, Head Neck and Back Injuries and more. PREREQUISITES: 1. Minimum age of 15. 2. Swim 300 yards continuously. 3. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7-10 feet to bottom of pool, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds. For more information or to inquire about setting up an evaluation for prerequisite skills, please contact the Aquatics Department.