In my seemingly never-ending quest to get fitter, healthier and above all happier: I have stumbled upon a fantastic new way to achieve all of these goals and more. Gyms keep appearing in Brisbane with fancy marketing campaigns promising us bigger and better things, and promoting their gym at the expense of members. However, the YMCA at Bowen Hills isn't like your everyday gym. It humbly offers us a chance to "build strong people, strong families and strong communities." I guess you could say it is a gym with a conscience. After all, it is first and foremost a charitable organisation.
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organisation that has been influencing lives for the better for over a century. It has come a long way since its establishment in the 19th century in response to poor British living and working conditions. However, its values and mission have transcended generations and remain steadfast at its core. That is, communities of people actively working together in order to strengthen body, mind and spirit. Religious connotations have somewhat subdued since its inception, however the YMCA's commitment to helping people hasn't.
The YMCA is proudly working towards building stronger individuals and better communities.
The YMCA offers a myriad of opportunities for strengthening and conditioning the body; centring and focusing the mind; and building and sustaining community spirit through its ensemble of classes. I for one get bored a little too easily and am always looking for something new to shake up my routine and keep me inspired. However, if you prefer a little more structure in your life you can easily make it work for you too. For those of you that like a little fire in your workouts the YMCA offers quality Les Mills classes such as Body Pump, Body Step, Body Combat and Fit Box. Alternatively, if you prefer a slower pace, pilates and yoga are also on offer. The yoga classes are absolutely fantastic.
Why not take the opportunity to try out everything the YMCA has to offer?
The very trendy Zumba is always an option if you want to practice your dance moves while getting a great cardiovascular workout. The instructor's enthusiasm is simply infectious – you don't want to get left behind and miss out on all the fun. There are also RPM or cycle classes for those of you inspired by the Tour de France every year. I believe there is even a Tour de YMCA you can try. For more specialised training, the YMCA caters to different fitness demographics. There are Teen Fit, Women's Fit and Men's Fit classes; and also Masters in Motion and Heart Moves classes for those needing a little extra care in their workouts. So really, if you can't find something to suit you here I'm really not sure where you will.
There are rows of cardio machines available to help you build your fitness.
These classes are offered at different times throughout the day and week, so you can play mix n' match to suit your lifestyle needs. And if you're really hard pressed for time they even offer 30 minute lunchtime classes. It really is your one stop fitness shop. And I haven't even mentioned the open gym yet. With rows of essential gym equipment it has the usual treadmills, bikes, rowers and cross-trainers. Also the weights section is very impressive. I'll admit, I have yet to venture into that section of the gym – but I will get there. They also have court facilities and a gymnasium with lessons for adults as well as children. Child care facilities are also available.
Create a stronger body and mind with the wide selection of weights available.
The best part is I am only paying $7.95 a week to attend as many classes as I want as well as to use the open gym. This is the cheapest amount you will pay however. It costs $16.95 to use the gym at all hours with no contract; or for a 12 month contract with the same usage you will pay $12.95. To use the gym in its off-peak hours – between 10 am and 3 pm – with a 12 month contract it's just $7.95. If you stop for a second to do the maths, I bet you will find that you could save a fortune compared to whatever you are paying for classes or membership at the moment. And if you don't have a regular exercise routine; this is a fantastic and affordable way to embark on your very own fitness journey.
Age is no barrier to climbing, rolling, swinging and tumbling your way to a better you.
The staff are all super friendly and the facilities are great. There are lockers available in the change rooms along with the usual standard showering facilities as well as hairdryers and ironing boards – just in case you need to go straight to work. And did I mention the coffee bar? What a great way to start your day. The YMCA is open from 5:30 am to 9 pm Monday to Thursday; 5:30 am to 8 pm on Friday; 7:30 am to 6 pm on Saturdays; and 7:30 am to 4 pm on Sundays. So now that I have given you all the information you could possibly need, it's up to you to get moving and go and have look for yourself. You might even have a little fun in the process.