Working out is no easy task. Sometimes, it’s a series of mental hurdles: You have to get out of bed, get dressed, get something to eat, drive through traffic—all before you even start your workout! At the Y, we understand that starting an exercise routine requires sacrifice, dedication and consistency, but our goal is to help you see real results. To maximize your workout on the wellness floor, in the group exercise studio, in the pool, on the pickleball court or wherever you prefer to exercise, make the most of your time at the Y with a few simple tips:

Stay Hydrated

When we work out, our bodies sweat to cool us down. Since the human body is made up of mostly water, it is vital that we stay hydrated to keep our systems running smoothly. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, headaches, soreness and fatigue—none of which makes for a great workout. Not only is hydration important during and after a workout, it’s also vital beforehand so that nutrients and oxygen can be carried to our cells. At your local Y, you’ll find bottle-fill stations to refill your water bottle whenever you’re running low. 

Stretch It Out

woman smiling with weights

Did you know that stretching helps keep our muscles strong and healthy? Conversely, if we don’t stretch, our muscles can become weak and stiff. Stretching increases flexibility, improves blood flow, reduces soreness, and, perhaps most importantly, prevents injury. As you plan your workout, be sure to include dynamic stretching before exercising and static stretching after exercising. Dynamic stretching is active movements that help you warm up with your full range of motion, while static stretching is holding a muscle in one place without movement in your cool-down routine. In fact, you should even think about stretching on the days you’re not at the gym. "Stretch daily for 10-20 minutes to get the most out of your stretching routine," says Clarksville Wellness Director Jay Bailey. 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

You might be thinking: What does sleep have to do with working out? As it turns out, almost everything! We need sleep to have a great workout and, in turn, a great workout helps produce great sleep. They work in tandem to help you reach your goals. A lack of sleep prevents weight loss, reduces your energy and even weakens your immune system, meaning that you can’t make the most of your workout when you're running on fumes. Rest and recovery are crucial to building a sustainable exercise routine, so take a break and hit the hay. It’ll help improve your workout tomorrow!

Bring A Friend

We get it—sometimes the motivation to work out doesn’t come easily. With a laundry list of things to do in our everyday lives, staying home can seem like a simpler option (though, you can always access the Y on-demand with YMCA360!). One way to keep yourself motivated is through an accountability partner. Bring a friend with you to work out! There’s no encouragement quite like two friends striving to reach their goals together. In fact, having a workout partner can improve your fitness results by increasing the intensity and length of your workout. Simply put, we exercise more vigorously for a longer amount of time with a buddy than we would on our own. At the Y, we love to see friends and family working out together—and we highly encourage it! So, to encourage more workout buddies, we invite you to participate in our Better Together Member Referral Program. When you invite a friend to join the Y, you both can save 20% on your monthly membership fees. Learn more at

Add Strength Training To Your Routine

Strength training isn’t just for athletes or bodybuilders, it’s for everyone! In addition to being very practical for movements in everyday life—like pushing a lawn mower or picking up your kids—strength training can reduce your risk for disease, help you live longer and improve your overall quality of life. On the wellness floor at your local Y, some of our strength training equipment includes plate-loaded machines, pin-loaded machines, kettle bells, dumbbells and resistance bands. We also offer year-round group exercise classes that are included in your membership. Some of our most popular strength-focused classes are Les Mills BODYPUMP, Total Strength, Barre, and Plates and Weights. Each class is designed to help you become stronger at a pace that is comfortable to you. And, if you bring a friend, you can take the class together! Learn more about our group exercise class offerings here.

Take Advantage Of Our Youth Services 

An obstacle that many parents face when trying to carve out time to work out is child care, which can make exercising feel complicated. At the Y, we want parents to find respite and feel rejuvenated. So, bring the kids with you! The Y provides a safe space for your child to stay and play with trained, caring staff while you work out through Y-Play (ages 6 weeks to 6 years) and YAC (Youth Activity Center, ages 6 to 12). Your child will be grouped in age-appropriate areas at our centers and can enjoy supervised free play for up to two hours at a time. It’s a win-win for parents and kids!

We look forward to helping you maximize your workout at the YMCA to pursue better health in spirit, mind and body. For more information, please visit us online at or check in with the Welcome Desk at your local YMCA of Middle Tennessee center.