YMCA of Greater Toronto and ParticipACTION promote winter well-being

29 December 2020

Two iconic Canadian charities join forces on multi-video exercise series to help keep New Year’s resolutions and beat the winter blues

Toronto - December 29, 2020 – The YMCA of Greater Toronto and ParticipACTION have teamed up to help Canadians stay active and healthy in the New Year. The partnership launches with a free video series designed for all fitness levels and highlighting light, moderate and high intensity exercises.

Since March, the pandemic has significantly increased unhealthy sedentary behaviours, with over 60 per cent of Canadians saying they’ve spent more time online and watching television. This partnership reinforces both organizations’ shared commitment to promoting well-being, including mental health and physical fitness, and comes at the perfect time to support Canadians focusing on 2021 resolutions.

The three-part video series guides people through exercises varying from cardio training, to strength and endurance, to flexibility and balance, across differing intensity levels. In addition to encouraging Canadians to get active, the video series will also educate people about different intensity levels and how each in moderation can be beneficial to everyone. Research shows that adding light intensity exercises to inactive routines can help increase longevity, while moderate intensity has been shown to improve moods and alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression, while high intensity exercise can improve cognition in adults, children and youth.

“We’re so excited to announce our partnership with ParticipACTION as both our organizations have a long history of promoting physical and mental well-being and social connection,” says Lesley Davidson, Chief Operations Officer, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “The physical and mental health benefits of activity are especially important during the COVID-19 crisis because we are spending more time isolated and at home than usual. Together, we want to support Canadians by helping people shine and become the best version of themselves.”

“This partnership highlights our mutual recognition of the powerful role that physical activity can play to help Canadians recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. “These videos arrive at an ideal time, when so many of us need to take advantage of the many physical and mental health benefits that come with being active.”

Starting today, all videos are available for free on the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Sweat for Good app, as well as the ParticipACTION app, which features other motivational content like team challenges, workout videos and tips and tricks including a dedicated At-Home Activity content section. In addition to the video series, virtual content on the ParticipACTION app and the YMCA’s Sweat for Good app are great ways to get started on New Year’s Resolutions and stay motivated.

To further help Canadians stay active no matter where they are this winter, the YMCA of Greater Toronto is offering a new virtual membership. The Y Virtual Membership gives members exclusive access to over 100 live fitness classes per month through the Sweat for Good app. There are a variety of online fitness options to choose from including Yoga, Barre, Bootcamp, MuscleFit, YMCA Arriba, YMCA Total, Mindfulness and so much more. Basic access is FREE and includes four online fitness classes per week and from now until January 3, 2021, you can sign up for a free trial at www.SweatForGoodApp.ca.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For over 165 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Serving diverse communities across the Greater Toronto Area with kindness, well-being, integrity, inclusiveness, respect and optimism, last year the YMCA made more than 700,000 connections across 450 locations. For more information visit ymcagta.org.

About ParticipACTION

Since 1971 ParticipACTION has been working toward a Canada where physical activity is a vital part of everyday life. As one of Canada’s most recognizable physical activity organizations, we deliver innovative engagement initiatives and thought leadership activities to help Canadians be more physically active and less sedentary, no matter where they live, work or play. ParticipACTION is generously supported by the Government of Canada. For more information, please visit participACTION.com