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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (November 7, 2017) – This past weekend the Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide swim team won its first home meet of the season. The Franklin County Y swam against teams from Danville, South Boston, Bedford and Altavista. Winning by a more than 80 point lead over the second place team from Danville.

“We’re off to a great start this year and are really excited about the season,” says J.T. Boyd the Y’s Head Swim Coach. 

 

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Posted by on in YMCA News

Rocky Mount, Va. (October 25, 2017) – This past weekendthe Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide swim team participated in the Lynchburg YMCA’s invitation and “virtual swim meet.” This first meet of the season had 11 Y team members who swam against not only multiple local teams but were entered into a national database with all Y teams in the country swimming over the same weekend. Out of the swimmers at the meet 28 personal records were set and the team overall cut over 200 seconds off their previous times. In addition, one swimmer made regional cut off times from this meet.

 

The Y team this year has over 50 registered participants which is an all-time high in participation in more than a decade at the YMCA.

 

 

“The growth of our swim team has been great to watch and be a part of. We have some terrific swimmers this year and some dedicated volunteer coaches and parents. It’s going to be a great season,” says Kameron Kitts Aquatics Director with the YMCA.

 

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Posted by on in YMCA News

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Rocky Mount, Va. (October 24, 2017)The Franklin County Family YMCA is poised to expand its Parkinson’s Program, which offers those with the disease a way to manage their symptoms with exercise. The program builds on ScriptFit, a unique YMCA program which gives physician-referred clients access to personal training at a special rate. The Y’s Parkinson’s program is the only one of its kind in Franklin County, and has been steadily growing since its inception last year.

“What makes our program work- the trainers not only know what they’re doing with the equipment, exercises and drills, but they have a personal passion for this type of training, and they know how to translate that to the needs of their clients,” said Kevin McAlexander the YMCA’s Branch Director.

Non-contact boxing training has become a popular and effective approach to managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The Y’s program began in 2016 after several ScriptFit clients with Parkinson’s enrolled, seeking therapeutic exercise options for the condition.

“Progress is different for each client, but you can see the improvements in their movement and posture happening before your eyes.” said Simpson. 

Simpson draws upon his knowledge and skills as a martial artist and personal trainer to design and conduct training sessions. A typical session combines targeted balance, flexibility, cardio and resistance training with boxing drills.

“We start with drills that warm up the brain’s ability to communicate across hemispheres and respond to changes in balance and stability, then move into strength exercises that target weakened muscles and movement patterns. After that we start working rounds on the double end bag, heavy bag and focus mitts. Throughout all of this, we work in modified jump rope rounds to elevate the heart rate, gradually adding in increasingly challenging footwork and crossovers,” says Simpson.

All of the participants exercise between sessions, using the Y’s indoor track and cardio equipment to log additional time at sustained heart rates.

The program can be modified to meet the needs of the Parkinson’s population, whose symptoms and age-related conditions can vary. Although the clients report improvements in Parkinson’s related symptoms, the program has also helped them to improve in other areas too.  

“Everything is scaled to the individual; if certain symptoms are worse that day, we might change plans and emphasize one area more than others. One client had a significant fall a few weeks ago, but came through it with no injuries, which he and his doctor credit to his involvement in the program. Another started out unable to control his descent onto a chair, now he can bob and weave like he’s been doing it his whole life,” said Simpson.

The brain-health benefits of exercise come from maintaining a moderately elevated heart rate for 20-45 minutes 3-5 days per week, but the best results come from incorporating activities that challenge timing and reaction time, coordination, spatial awareness and problem solving. Boxing training methods are uniquely suited to offer these conditions. There is a significant body of research that shows that moderately intense exercise maintains existing brain cells, supports growth of new ones and encourages circulation and connections between them, improves memory, alertness, mood, cognition, and coordination. These improvements can happen at any age. You can be 17 or 70 and the potential is still there.

 

ScriptFit is available at all three Franklin County YMCA locations, and the boxing program is available at the Rocky Mount and Smith Mountain Lake branches. For more information on the Y’s Parkinson’s program, ScriptFit, and other programs, contact Randy Simpson at 489-9622. 

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Posted by on in YMCA News

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Rocky Mount, Va. (September 28, 2017)The Franklin County YMCA is happy to announce that Victoria Brown is the new Branch Director of the Ferrum College YMCA. Brown has been a familiar face to many at the Rocky Mount Y, where she developed a reputation as a knowledgeable and friendly fitness professional. In two yearsas a personal trainer, Fitness Coordinator and program instructor, she developed innovative programs such as Moving with Mommy, an exercise class for new mothers, and Ladies Who Lift, a women’s powerlifting class.  Brown will apply her innovation and initiative to bring similar programs to the Ferrum branch.

"I'm excited to become a part of Ferrum College and look forward to creating a great environment for wellness and community on this beautiful campus," says Brown. “Starting this fall, we will be offering new programs for the campus as well as for the community.”

 

Brown also brings her experience as a collegiate athlete and area youth soccer coach to the Ferrum Y, which works closely with Ferrum College Athletic teams. Ferrum’s Academic programs also use the Y as an extension of classroom learning, and for the past year, Brown has worked in partnership with Ferrum College staff to develop wellness programs for the campus community.Her colleagues at the Rocky Mount are also excited about the changes coming to the Ferrum location.

 

“Victoria has a personal passion for fitness and an excellent track record of successful program development and delivery,” said YMCA Membership Director Kevin McAlexander. “We are excited for the fresh ideas and enthusiasm that she brings to this role! We've already had a lot of positivefeedback from the campus community.”

 

For more information about the Ferrum YMCA's schedule and programs, call 489-9622, or visit the Ferrum YMCA Facebook page. 

 

 

"Great things are on the way! Stop in and see us!" said Brown.

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Rocky Mount, Va. (August 22, 2017) – The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that a long time member and class participant Jessica Mitchell has become the Y’s new Group Exercise Coordinator taking over for Christy Ploch.

I am honored and thrilled to be the YMCA's new Group Exercise Coordinator. I have big shoes to fill with Christy Ploch stepping back from this role. She has been a huge impact on fitness in Franklin County. I have a huge passion for fitness and am elated to share it with our members,” says Jessica Mitchell.

The position consists of managing around 50 classes a week, multiple instructors and certifications as well as coordinating special events and programs for YMCA members.  The Y’s group exercise classes are offered weekly at no additional charge to all YMCA members. The classes include Yoga, Zumba, kettlebell classes, bootcamp style classes, low impact classes, even a Moving with Mommy class for new moms and their child.

We have an amazing group of instructors that all have something different to offer our members. We have classes for all levels and all ages. I hope to bring new programs, new classes and put my personal touch on our program. We have a loyal group of members that come to all our classes and it just makes it more fun to work out together. We laugh and push each other while getting healthy! I look forward to new faces that haven't given us a try. You will get hooked, I promise!” says Mitchell.

 

For more information on the Y’s group exercise schedule call 540-489-9622. 

 

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