West Cook YMCA is diving into member value focused on healthy living

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By West Cook YMCA

In the world of quick fixes, it can be tempting to turn to a juice fast to drop a few pounds or a gym membership to tone up, but common sense says that the quick fix isn't really the answer. When it comes to achieving and maintaining wellness, the best approach is addressing all aspects of a lifelong healthy lifestyle.

"For members of the West Cook YMCA, we have instituted many new interrelated programs and opportunities to adopt a holistic approach to living a truly healthy lifestyle that has lifelong benefits," explains President and CEO Phillip Jiménez.

Drawing on a wide range of experience at for-profit business organizations, educational institutions and social service providers, Jiménez brings unbounded energy to ensuring that the Y meets all of the health priorities of its members while continuing to fulfill a much needed role in the community.

"I bring the paradigm that we can do it all at the same time. I don't tend to focus on limitations. We can update our cardio equipment and physical facilities while also launching local partnerships to address healthy aging, disease prevention and reclaiming a healthy lifestyle after a medical crisis or diagnosis," he said.

As the architect of a comprehensive plan to guide the West Cook Y's move into all aspects of healthy living, Jiménez focuses on improvements to both the physical space of the Y and the benefits of creating improved programming for members. After this summer's two-week Recess, Jiménez says the West Cook YMCA "is better prepared than ever to offer incredible member value."

He notes the many steps the West Cook YMCA is taking to broaden its reach.

Instead of just focusing on basic formula for fitness that other organizations subscribe to, like working out and then going home, the West Cook YMCA offers programming in all aspects of wellness from prevention to regaining health for those who have suffered setbacks. "With this summer's $500,000 investment in our facilities, we're hitting all dimensions of our members' experience. From the new state-of-the art cardio equipment to making sure there's a basket of fresh fruit at our front desk, we're continually upgrading and improving.

"We also know that our real member value is in our staff, in the comprehensive YMCA Healthy Living Framework that extends personal health and fitness programs into the community through a series of programs and partnerships focused on disease prevention and health education," he said.

Through the Healthy Communities Initiative the Y partners with Westlake Hospital to reach out to persons with chronic diseases such as diabetes, and offers scores of education, screening, and fitness and exercise programs. The Y's Workplace Wellness brings the YMCA to schools, offices, distribution centers, factories and other places of employment allowing employees to work out and learn more about healthy lifestyles without leaving the convenience of their work site.

Members visiting the West Cook YMCA will quickly see the obvious changes in the new equipment and fresh paint, and experience first-hand more in-depth changes through opportunities for members to work directly with dieticians and personal trainers.

"And yes, the West Cook YMCA remains a great place to work out and swim, but its members can now attest that it also offers so much more in the way of a true community dedicated to health and wellness," said Jiménez.

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