The Y opens for pre-emptive Thanksgiving day workouts


The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids was founded in 1866 and operates eight branches and year-round camping facilities at Camp Manitou-Lin. Courtesy YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

“I feel like I gained 10 pounds today” is a common comment heard after the Thanksgiving meal has been gobbled up.

Most of us tend to overindulge during the holidays on foods we might not typically eat because of their high calorie count. The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids doesn’t want anyone feeling too guilty over the holidays, so six of its seven locations will be open Thursday morning to allow members time to hit the gym before taking a seat at the Thanksgiving table.

Many YMCA members take advantage of the holiday hours to proactively burn off the anticipated calories of the day.

Jean VanCoevering, corporate sales and membership director for the YMCA, said that Thanksgiving morning is always a busy time, with some members lining up to get in when the doors open at 5 a.m. To accommodate the increased use of the gym during the morning, the Y offers several additional workout classes, including kick boxing, cycling, total body sculpting, yoga, boot camp and zumba.

“I do an hour-and-a-half special spin class for those people that arrive first thing in the morning, at 5:15 . . . we have more cycling classes; we added three for that morning, back-to-back,” she said. “We design that morning from 5 a.m. to noon jam-packed with activity for our members to come in and enjoy. Those that don’t want to partake in classes can get in the pool and swim, the lap pool or go into the pool with their family. Our fitness floor is also open, so they can enjoy all of our cardio equipment.”

The David D. Hunting, Visser Family, Wolverine Worldwide Family and Southeast branch YMCAs will be open from 5 a.m.-noon; The Lowell branch will be open from 5-11 a.m.; the Ionia County branch will be open from 6-9 a.m.; and the Spartan Stores branch will be closed.

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