Staying Healthy During a Pandemic | Winter Impact Newsletter 2021

Last updated: February 25, 2021, at 5:52 p.m. PT

Originally published: February 10, 2021, at 2:59 p.m. PT

staying healthy at the Y

When our branches were mandated to cease normal operation due to the pandemic, we transitioned them into free childcare sites for healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers. Then, we were swift in creating new ways to connect with members, seniors, and those who rely on the Y for their health and wellness. This year, we’ve served more individuals with Chronic Disease Prevention programs and virtual wellness classes than in past years.  

Meet us in the Y Healthy Living Room  

This year proved that the Y is much more than a building. On the first day of the Washington State stay home, stay healthy order, we announced our Healthy Living Room, an online hub available to everyone to take live and on-demand classes for mind and body, strength, cardio, and active older adults.  

The Healthy Living Room has content for everyone at every stage of their fitness journey. We continue to take pride in the community we have fostered through the pandemic and the lives our programs have changed.  

Chronic Disease Prevention, Now More than Ever  

A lot of people can relate to a changing body during the pandemic. It’s hard to keep up healthy habits on your own. That’s why we expanded our proprietary Lose to Win and Diabetes Prevention programs to all community members.  

More than 440 participants were served by these programs in 2020 thanks to our expanded virtual services. This pivot enabled participants to continue the critical work of pursuing physical wellness and fostered the social-emotional connections critical to whole person health.  

Additionally, we continued pursuing health equity within immigrant and communities of color, serving more than 175 individuals and families through chronic disease prevention and COVID-19 navigation services in 2020.  

These programs aren’t just about weight loss. They’re about creating supportive communities to help individuals to identify and pursue individual health goals with all the support they need.  

“I enrolled in this program as I had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic for at least 10 years. My primary physician had been strongly urging me to lose weight for the last 15 years with no success. When I enrolled in the program, my BMI was 33.4 and my A1C had jumped to 6.6. This program taught me that through a combination of intelligent meal selection with healthy choices, including daily fruits and vegetables, and disciplined food and fat tracking, after years of little success at losing weight, I could lose the weight I needed to.  

This was not a restrictive or extreme dieting period, but simply healthier food choices and consistent exercise. I have now lost 35 lbs. and have exceeded my medical and personal goals.” - Patrick, a Lose to Win Participant 

Senior Health Outreach 

Senior citizens are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and as a result, many are experiencing increased social isolation and loneliness. Your support means senior members stay connected to Y staff and to each other through regular outreach, making sure seniors maintain access to critical resources like groceries, and staying physically and mentally healthy during isolation. 

Of the seniors we’ve reached out to by phone: 

  • 11.7% are struggling to maintain physical fitness and wellness 
  • 7.3% are managing a chronic health condition
  • 5.7% are experiencing social isolation or loneliness
  • 1.1% are having trouble accessing food or other resources

With your help, we’re able to truly be there for seniors in a way this pandemic otherwise prevents. Your partnership in our mission of supporting our community through this crisis means a lot to our seniors. 

The impacts of the pandemic will continue. With that in mind, we’re on track to exceed the number of individuals served in 2021. Thanks to your ongoing support, the Y continues to work hard to make sure everyone has the resources they need to stay healthy in spirit, mind, and body. 

Category: Impact Newsletter