The YMCA has once again been voted Best Workout Facility in Mankato in 2016 by students and residents of Mankato.
Located on Riverfront Drive, across the street from Mankato West High School, the Mankato Family YMCA, affectionately known as “the Y”, has been a part of the community for many years, first opening in 1874.
According to its official website, the YMCA’s vision is “to gather communities, making accessible to all high quality programs and services that promote and develop health spirit, mind, body and social well-being.”
Members of the YMCA can enjoy the use of a variety of different facilities, including:
• Taylor Family Aquatic Center, which features a slide, a kiddie swimming area, and a separate 4-lane pool for swimming laps
• 2 full-size basketball courts
• 4 racquetball/handball courts, which includes a free lesson for beginners
• Pepsi Cube recreational room for kids of all ages, featuring foosball, air hockey, billiards, gaming consoles, a 40-foot climbing wall, and more
• State-of-the-art fitness center
• Indoor track
• Life Center exercise room, featuring 90 pieces of equipment
• Cycling Studio
• Free-weight room
• Free child care while you work out
• Free Wi-Fi access
The gym has two courts – the Blue Gym, which has an indoor track around the upper perimeter, and the Red Gym, which is used for blood donation every December. Both offer open gym times, adult pick-up games, youth sports, and entertainment. Equipment available for renting includes equipment for volleyball, basketball or dodge ball.
The aquatic center offers swimming lesson for all ages, from small children to adult swimmers. As their website states, “It’s never too late to learn how to swim or improve your swimming ability!”
Besides state-of-the-art equipment, the Life Center has a wide range of cardio and weight machines available, as well as wellness coaching sessions, to help members improve their fitness levels.
The Y’s Life Center also offers more than 50 group exercise classes a week, at various times in the day. Free to members, these classes range from cardio to strength, flexibility to dance, and include yoga, Pilates, step aerobics, and even Zumba. Their official website states that “all fitness levels are welcome” to attend any class. A full schedule of all their classes is available online.
A new program called the Y-Fit Gym is also available. Members can stop by for the “workout of the day” and train like athletes. All of the workouts are varied and high intensity; each day will bring a new challenge.
The Mankato Family YMCA is the only fitness facility in the Mankato area that offers cycling classes. Offered year round, trained instructors lead participants through their workout in a mind/body conditioning.
The YMCA is also a fun place for children of all ages. From sports to aquatics, there are activities and programs available for preschoolers to teens.
Parents can workout, stress free, with a free 90 minutes of childcare; after the first 90 minutes, a small fee applies per hour, per child. There are even special monitors in the Life Center where parents can view the Child Watch room.
Children, boys and girls, from kindergarten to sixth grade, can participate in Youth Sports, which include basketball, soccer, floor hockey, volleyball, tennis, and much more. Emphasis is put on skill development, rather than completion. The Y’s website states, “Winning is not the goal – playing is.” As such, kids are encouraged to have fun and learn skills in their area of interest.
Overall, the YMCA is a great place to workout, have fun, and stay active. They are committed to their mission of building a health spirit, mind, body and social well being for all through their programs.
The Mankato Family YMCA is looking to grow their facilities by renovating and remodeling to accommodate demand, as well as establish a presence on the east side of Mankato. Current and future YMCA members can look forward to this as well as the new skate park, which is scheduled to open in April.
Photo: (Trevor Cokley/The Reporter)