Masks are required inside all YMCA facilties once again due to recent public health orders. Learn more

Maria is a fitness instructor, personal trainer and holistic nutritionist at H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre who is currently at home, practicing social distancing, in a larger effort to help our community fight this global pandemic. Although she has been enjoying her time at home, like most of us, she has found aspects of it challenging, especially not seeing her Y community members including our amazing members and staff.

“The struggle for me is mostly because I really miss the Y family,” says Maria. “I thrive by seeing people every day, especially our Y members. It helps uplift my day to see their progress, and just be a part of their experience there.”

Maria explained that she also realized how easy it was to be unproductive without her regular daily work routine.

“There was one week where I didn’t exercise at all and I felt horrible that week,” she says. “Even though exercise is a huge part of my life, I realized how easy it is to drop many of the healthy habits I had incorporated into my work life at H2O and had to come up with a different routine that worked for my days at home.”

With a little virtual support and encouragement from her Y colleagues, she is now finding fun ways to exercise, including doing some at home workouts with her son who is in his early 20’s.

“I don’t have a dedicated space to work out,” explains Maria. “So, if I’m not going for my daily walks, I am working out in the main living room space, and my kids see me and hear my music. I think it’s been inspiring my son to join in, and it has been fun to share that with him.

“My hope is that, when this pandemic is over, we will have been better for this time spent together building healthy routines. Whether it is together or separate, I hope we are all keeping active.”

Other positives for Maria, that have come out of this unexpected time at home, include spending time outside every day, trying new recipes and reducing food waste due to less frequent trips to the store.

“I’ve learned how to be more conscious of how to use everything in my fridge,” says Maria. “Since I am trying to only go out and get groceries once a week, it has helped me use what we have and make something out of it, and I’m finding I’m wasting less.”

Maria also said that, to remain mentally healthy, she is refraining from watching the news every day.

“I am only watching the news every few days to remain current with the most important updates,” she explains. “I find not tuning in every day has helped me stay positive and focus on the good things in life.”

Although Maria has found a lot of positive things have come out of this time at home, she made a point to say that she will be more than ready to come back to her Y community when it is safe to do so.

“I’m looking forward to when I can see everybody again,” she says. “I’m lucky to enjoy going to my work every day. I want our members to know that I am thinking of them. I hope everyone is doing well, and that they are all looking forward to coming back just as much as I am.”