A collaboration of community organizations is spearheading Energize Lowell, a free series of classes offered in the community with a focus on fitness and nutrition. All of the classes have a focus on family, inviting adults and kids to take part. Yoga fitness classes have been held at Englehardt Library. Trail walking classes will take place at the Wittenbach Wege Center (WWC) and nutrition classes will meet at Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM).
Bringing Fitness and Nutrition to the Community
Through conversations with the community conducted by the Englehardt Library, the patrons’ desire to have more wellness classes offered with a family feel were discussed. There was also a need to have such classes take place during hours when working parents and kids who are of school age would still be able to participate.
Thanks to donations and grants from organizations including the LCTV Endowment, Alto Lions Club, Lowell Community Wellness, Englehardt Library and Lowell Rotary have made Energize Lowell possible. The Y will continue to seek grants and other funding needed to keep the program going indefinitely. “The program also leverages community partnerships (Englehardt Public Library, Wittenbach/Wege Center and Flat River Outreach Ministries) to bring programming to various community spaces – this increases the reach of the program geographically to be accessible to more people.” says Marta Rozema, Program Director for Lowell YMCA.
The community is invited to attend all classes or a mixture of the series of classes being offered. While they’re family friendly and hope to inspire spending quality time together, individuals are also encouraged to attend. Yoga at Englehardt Library began in September but will continue as part of Energize Lowell. Classes will take place each Saturday at 11am and are 30 minutes in length. Trail walking classes led by YMCA fitness staff are an hour in duration and will be held each Saturday at 2pm at WWC with each week based on a theme. Examples include bats, deer, and snowflakes. In the event of inclement weather, the class will be moved indoors. Finally, the first Wednesday of each month at 6pm an hour long nutrition class will meet at FROM. The monthly class will include an educational cooking demonstration, tasting, and lesson. Participants will leave with a take away items such as a Tupperware container or reusable sandwich bag in addition to learning about nutrition.
Rozema reports that county health rankings indicate 20% of adults in Kent County report no leisure time or physical activity and that 13% are considered to be of fair or poor health. While the positive connection between diet and exercise and how it pertains to overall health is common knowledge, in many instances assistance and accountability are needed to reach goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s also often hard for those who are working and have kids to find time to exercise and learn about good nutrition in addition to setting aside family time.
Energize Lowell aims at creating fun and educational opportunities for the community to come together with the goal of individual, family, and community wellness. Rozema remarks, “Energize Lowell will address these needs by providing fitness and nutrition classes designed to be inclusive of all ages, so children and parents can attend them together.” Classes are intended to be during times more convenient for those who are working and have a family to care for. “This program provides numerous opportunities for families to bond, ways to engage individuals in physical activity, teach new skills, and enhance the overall wellness of our community.” she concludes.
Energize Lowell Schedule
Classes are ongoing and free to attend. They are family friendly with no age restrictions.
Family Yoga – Saturdays at 11am at Englehardt Library|
Trail Walking – Saturdays at 2pm at Wittenbach Wege Center
Nutrition Class – First Wednesday of each month at 6pm at Flat River Outreach Ministries
For additional information, contact the Lowell YMCA at 616-855-9570.