Since I’m not blogging as much anymore and just using this space to share whatever I want when the mood strikes, if there’s something I love, I’m just going to tell you about it. This post is NOT sponsored, it’s just my honest opinion about how much I love the YMCA. There are so many reasons why the Y is the best gym for families and I want to enthusiastically pass along this message. But first, let me touch on the fact that this is an unsponsored review.
A Note About Sponsored Reviews
It’s really hard to write a truly honest review when you’re getting something for it.
For instance, it seems like every product I look up on Amazon these days has many glowing 5-star reviews, but after closer inspection, most of them have received the product for free in return for writing an “honest” review. I have to sift past those ones to read the reviews from a completely unbiased perspective, usually with an accompanied lower rating. I’ve come across this enough times lately, that I wish Amazon would sort the sponsored reviews into their own category.
As this relates to blogging, I don’t want you to have any doubts that my reviews are completely honest. I’m not saying I’ll never do sponsored posts anymore–and I always do my best to be honest–but at this point in my blogging “career,” I’m not seeking them out much anymore either.
My love for the Y began long before I started teaching Pilates there. In fact, I sought out teaching there because I love it there so much. I receive absolutely no benefit for writing this post (financial or otherwise–my superiors don’t even know about my blog), I truly just want to spread the love.
And with that, here are my Top 12 Reasons The Y is the Best Gym
1. Childcare is Included
This reason alone makes the Y unbeatable. At the other gyms I belonged to, I had to pay each time I worked out because childcare was extra. The Y believes that having children should not be a hindrance to working out, so childcare is either included or very low cost. Joining the Y is what encouraged me to workout nearly everyday. It ensured I both got out of the house and had some “me time” each day.
2. Quality Childcare
Not only is childcare included with your membership, the Y takes babies as young as six weeks old so mamas can get back into their workout routine. Other gyms start at six months. They also will feed babies their bottles, give kids snacks and change diapers, unlike other gyms I’ve belonged to. I had very poopy, very hungry babies and toddlers, so I used to get interrupted EVERY workout when I belonged to other gyms. It discouraged me from going when I knew I was going to get called down to childcare after 20 minutes, making it impossible to get back to my workout after a diaper change because my kids would just want to leave after that.
No one is turned away from the Y because of their ability to pay. The Y is there for everyone and they want the whole community to be healthy. So even if you don’t think your budget can swing a gym membership, go check it out. As it turns out, the monthly cost of the Y is actually more expensive than some other gyms in the area, but the included childcare more than made up for the extra monthly cost for me. I’d recommend checking it out in person to see if it will work within your budget.
4. Great Equipment
I would not make it through cardio without watching TV and the Y has some of the best viewing there is. Individual TV screens with Direct TV (lots of channels!) are way better than a few large TV screens in the distance or an individual screen with barely anything to watch. My cardio frequently goes longer than intended because i have to know–did they love it or list it?? 🙂
5. At the Y, you are family
This is what the Y is known for. Each of our members is a part of the Y family and it is our job to get to know you and encourage you in your fitness goals. We love our members and seeing their faces everyday!
6. Discounted programs
Anyone can enroll in a Y camp or swim lessons, but if you’re a member of the Y, you get a discounted rate. This is actually how I originally joined the Y because I called to inquire about swim lessons when Reece was one year old. Once I found out about the free childcare, I was hooked.
7. Year-round pool use
This is a definitely a huge bonus of belonging to the Y. Not only is it our gym, but it’s our pool. Even though the rules are more restrictive than community pools, I love that I don’t have to pay for both a gym and a cabana club.
Part of the reason the Y pool is more restrictive is because safety is a top concern. During the summer, they have three lifeguards at the outdoor pool. During swim lessons, not only does each group have their instructor, but there are a few lifeguards on deck to keep a safe watch on everyone. I’ve been to pools at other gyms where they only had one lifeguard watching over a crowded pool. With my non swimmers, that did not make me feel safe. It feels good knowing that our safety is top priority at the Y.
The Y is for everyone. Not only will you find a wide range of skin colors and languages, but you will see people with a wide range of abilities and challenges. This is very unlike what you will see at other gyms and I’m glad my kids will be exposed to many different types of people so young.
10. Free programs for kids
Along with the free (or very low cost) childcare, the Y has a number of included kids programs. From tumbling type classes, to preschool, to ballet, each Y offers something different. This is a huge benefit as these types of programs can be quite costly elsewhere. It’s also a great way to meet other moms since some programs are for babies as young as six months old.
11. Amazing range of classes
The Y has hands down the best range of group exercise classes I’ve seen. Usually there are multiple group exercise rooms, so more than one class can be offered at a time. At my Y, there will be a strength training class, cycling class, yoga class and TRX class all going on at the same time. This makes it easy for members to find something they love at a time that works for them.
Don’t be fooled by fancy new gyms–they are not always as clean as they appear at first glance. The Y may always be in an old, funky building, but it is clean. The janitors are working round the clock keeping everything nice for members and it shows. As a Pilates instructor who has laid on many a gym floor, the Y is by far the cleanest–especially in the studios.
13. They’re everywhere
YMCAs are located all around the country, so no matter where you live, you can find your Y home there. Click to find your local YMCA! All Ys have different features–even each of the ones here in Silicon Valley run things slightly differently–so be sure to check with your local Y to see what they offer, as some of the benefits listed above may differ.
Joining the Y was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my family. If you know me in real life, you’re probably already well aware of that since I pretty much tell everyone how great the Y is. It gave me a place to connect, to enjoy time out of the house as a stay-at-home and boost my fitness. So I spread the love. So that you can find a Y to love too.
Do you love your local YMCA? Tell me why you think it’s the best!