Make 2018 a year where you focus on you and your family. This includes making living healthy a part of your lifestyle. The Mattoon Area Family YMCA is waiving the joining fee on all new or renewed memberships in January. As a way to give back to our community, we ask that anyone who looks to join consider donating an item,that our staff can then pass on to the Coles County Animal Shelter. Items needed include: kitty litter, leashes, bleach, animal toys, dog snacks and kitty treats.

The Mattoon YMCA offers programs for all ages, all interests and all fitness levels. New members will find the Y as a place to connect with family, friends and community through the Y’s many programs with a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

New members or even members returning to the Y are encouraged to get involved in programs such as our group fitness classes. These classes vary in intensity, activity and benefits. Classes are a great way to meet others with similar goals while also finding motivation to meet your goals. With each class, our instructors will help new members get acquainted with the equipment, class goals and others ways to get involved at the Y.

With New Year the Y realizes members, new and seasoned, are looking to make 2018 their healthiest year yet. Programs such as Survivor 2018 and Healthy Start are set to begin in January. Survivor will encourage members to exercise and meet weekly goals through the exercise routine of their choice, while Healthy Start takes an approach of educating members in the areas of nutrition, exercise, stress management, and sleep habits. This all around healthy living program helps to define goals, create patterns and give participants a jump start to living healthy.

Maybe 2018 is a year for your family to grow closer or the year you would like to introduce your child to programs that get them active. In January family fitness classes will begin. This is a time when parents can set the example for the kids while also finding common interests. Classes such as Yoga, cycling and TRX will give families an opportunity to get healthy together and create bonding opportunities.

Other programs that include youth involvement are swim lessons and youth sports. Both of these programs teach skill, team work and staying active. Youth programs free with a Y membership include Hang Time and Dance 101. These evening programs keep the kids active while also allowing parents time to attend fitness classes, enjoy a workout in our wellness center or take a stroll on the walking track.

At the Mattoon YMCA, everyone is encouraged to consider membership. Regardless on your income level the Y offers an opportunity for the entire community to belong. The Membership for All Scholarship program has an easy application process and allows applicants to join within a few short days. Visit with the Y desk staff for more information on scholarship that may reduce your membership fees.

In 2017 the Mattoon Y introduced the Young Adult membership. The Y understands that young individuals, between the ages of 18-26, are seeking healthy living and would enjoy being a part of the fitness classes and adult sports programs that the Y offers versus many other local facilities. At the same time the Y recognizes that a gym membership can seem like a “want” instead of a need and may not fit in to the budget when someone is just starting out in the real world. The Young Adult category offers a lower monthly fee with all the benefits of an adult membership. With a call or visit to the Y, staff can share the rates off all our YMCA memberships along with the benefits of being a member.

Lastly, mark your calendar for Sunday, Jan. 14th. The Mattoon Y has a great day planned with sample fitness classes, booths offering information on programs from youth activities to personal training, the ongoing membership and a chance to meet the staff. This event will be held from 1pm to 4pm throughout the Mattoon Y and is free to the entire community.

To learn more about the Mattoon Area Family YMCA, visit or stop in at 221 N 16th Street, Mattoon. The staff may also be reached at 217-234-9494.