Now celebrating 130 years of health, fitness, and community, the YMCA remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids. Staff members at the YMCA of Gloucester County uphold the organization’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult-fitness regimens with aquatic-fitness classes, a martial-arts studio, and personal-training sessions. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, afterschool programs, and youth basketball.
Fitness Yoga Studios stretches out its arms to encourage everyone, at every experience level, to improve their strength and flexibility with yoga. Though it specializes in Vinyasa flow, a breath-focused style of yoga, Fitness Yoga Studios offers a wide variety of classes, while a convenient schedule aids in achieving and maintaining physical, spiritual, and emotional health for budding yogis. Unwind with the gentle yoga class, perfect for newbies or a jury that’s snuck out of its deliberation, or challenge the body's limits with the hot Vinyasa flow session, where guests flex in a room heated to about 90 degrees. Students can obtain newfound energy in the yoga renew class, which emphasizes proper alignment, or increase their range of motion in the yin/Vinyasa sessions. Novice contortionists can also try out the soothing, fluid motions of the classic Vinyasa experience and enjoy profound meditation once their Third Eyes have been safely pried open.
At Canvas Mixers, an artist unearths the hidden talent of amateurs in three-hour painting classes. After handing out aprons and 16”x20” canvases or directing patrons to the nearest blank wall, the teacher carefully guides the brushstrokes of students with step-by-step instructions, helping them craft one of dozens of acrylic paintings. They encourage adults to bring their own beverages, such as beer or wine, to help banish nervousness and inhibitions and let creativity flow. The staff also leads drink-free classes for kids and parent-child pairs.
Offsite events have taken place in Love Park and at local wineries. Canvas Mixers also engages with community service, having raised funds for Ronald McDonald House in the past.
Club Fitness tones and pampers bodies with group training, personal training, and tanning services, earning the Best of Gloucester County award in 2013 for its fitness center and gym. The 15,000-square-foot club spans two floors partitioned into dedicated rooms for cardio, Group X, and spinning, as well as a fitness floor lined with Hammer Strength, Cybex, Precor, Star Trac, and Life Fitness equipment. Group exercise classes meet seven days a week, and Club Fitness frees up workout time for busy parents with onsite childcare and robot stand-ins to send to the office. To replenish spent energy reserves, a shake and juice bar pours out chilled refreshments and steaming cups of gourmet coffee.