Well-being requires more than just eating right and staying active. Keeping connected socially is also a key element, and higher levels of well-being are associated with decreased risk of disease, improved immune functioning and increased productivity.
As a member of the Y, you have opportunities every day to get to know people you might not otherwise meet.
We’ve heard many transformational and heartwarming stories from members whose lives were forever changed by relationships made at their center. (Have a story? Let us know!) That’s why we believe that strengthening community—both inside and outside our walls—is so important.
Make the most of your Y community by getting more involved this year. Here are 6 ideas for forming new connections.
1. Group exercise
Show up for the same group fitness class at the same time every week, and you’ll see familiar faces. Soon, those faces become friends. Then, you’re not only looking forward to getting your workout in, but also to seeing your buddies. Some members take it a step further by setting shared goals to work toward in class or by working out on the wellness floor together.
Get connected by giving back. At the Y, you can volunteer to coach a team, mentor a teen, teach a child to read, and more. Serving with the Y is a great way to invest in your community and form meaningful relationships. Check with your local center for opportunities.
3. Open gym
Playing pick-up basketball is a classic move for making new friends. Several of our facilities, like Downtown, Green Hills, and Margaret Maddox, also have open court times for pickleball. All you have to do is show up and start a game! View gym schedules by location online or ask for a copy at the welcome center.
4. Youth sports
Learning new skills and working together in YMCA sports encourages friendships both with youth of diverse ages and backgrounds and among their parents and caregivers. From soccer to swimming—the camaraderie that comes with being on a team can lead to bonds that last a lifetime.
Related Video: Game Day at the Y
5. Health and wellness support groups
Active Older Adults classes and outings, After Breast Cancer groups and other health support groups foster a sense of belonging among participants. Groups typically host a variety of activities aimed at supporting each other's healthier lifestyles. The welcoming environment can help you achieve wellness goals and develop positive connections.
6. Spirit & Mind small groups
The Y offers Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes, including Financial Peace and a group for those who are navigating the waters of grief. These groups can help you make connections with others traveling a similar path and also support your growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.