Plainfield YMCA shows off new wellness center
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent October 23, 2013 1:16PM
Leo Gonzalez, a member of the C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield, lifts a medicine ball in the facility's new wellness center. | Supplied photo
Updated: November 25, 2013 6:50AM
Fitness isn’t just for exercise-savvy individuals. The YMCA in Plainfield has expanded its space and added equipment to ensure as much.
C.W. Avery Family YMCA officials last week cut the ribbon on the facility’s new wellness center, which provides a 2,000-square-foot increase from the previous space.
About 50 people were present for the celebration, said Bev Miller, executive director of the Plainfield branch.
In addition to more free weights, new features include handicapped- and wheelchair-accessible equipment, such as the NuStep elliptical/stationary bicycle machine that includes a revolving seat to make it more accessible to those in wheelchairs. There also is circuit-training equipment that tracks progress by levels, not pounds.
“For people who are new to lifting weights or who don’t consistently use them, they don’t need to remember, ‘I do three sets of 15 pounds,’ ” Miller said. “They just need to know where they are at level-wise.”
About 80 percent of people new to trying a healthier lifestyle know they should be eating better and exercising more but they’re unsure how to begin, Miller said.
“We want to meet the needs of those people, too,” Miller said.
The addition of two rowing machines proved so popular, two more were ordered. The Life Fitness Synrgy360, which resembles a jungle gym for adults, provides workouts and training in both cardio and strength, Miller said. Up to eight people can use it at one time, Miller said, either alone or as part of a class.
Advance training for proper use of the machine is not necessary before using it but some instruction is recommended, Miller said. Staff are available to answer questions.
Two other noteworthy additions include a seating area with a couch, two chairs and two tables to facilitate social interaction between members, and a special fountain for refilling water bottles. The fountain also counts how many water bottles escaped landfills with each refill. Total count as of Oct 18: 13,385.
“Part of the YMCA’s mission is social responsibility,” Miller said. “This is one way we’re helping to fulfill it.”
Construction began in mid-August with minimal disruption to members and was completed by Labor Day, just as 41 North Contractors, whose owners belong to the C.W. Avery Family YMCA, promised would happen, Miller said.
“This is the first time the Plainfield Y was open on Labor Day,” Miller said. “We want to give members options for spending time together with their families, so we’ll also be open on Thanksgiving Day until 1 o’clock.”
More than 13,000 members belong to the C.W. Avery Family YMCA, or about 1 in 3 Plainfield residents, Miller said. Soon after the branch opened in 2006, it was obvious more room was needed. Enlarging the wellness center was part of that.
“The goal was to eliminate any space obstacles to getting healthy. We don’t want people to feel crowded,” Miller said.
In September, the C.W. Avery Family YMCA hosted an open house for its members to see the progress but staff waited until all the equipment had arrived before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, Miller said.
Funds for the new wellness center came from memberships and donations, Miller said.
The C.W. Avery Family YMCA is at 15120 Wallin Drive, Plainfield. For more information, call 815-267-8600 or visit www.jolietymca.org/branches/avery.php.