Exercise important for physical and mental fitness | Special Sections

Exercise is not only good for keeping physically fit, it also can have positive mental benefits.

Beth Garner, the healthy living director/sports director, has been with the YMCA of Atchison Kansas since 2001. She highlighted the value being active and exercising has for people at both a mental and physical level.

“Exercise has been proven to improve self-esteem, which is connected to greater mental health,” Garner said. “Exercise has also been shown to increase self-confidence, self-efficacy and self-acceptance. When we exercise, we tend to feel more loving, positive and confident. Additionally, exercise alleviates such conditions as stress, chronic pain and chronic illnesses.”

Garner said it’s important to get kids active at a young age and added there are several opportunities and programs offered at the YMCA to do that.

“Kids can get started in the YMCA at an early age,” Garner said. “We offer swim classes/lessons, gymnastics, sports and more for the youth to take advantage of and be active. This helps them to be active socially and physically.”

The YMCA of Atchison Kansas has been an important part of the community since 1872. The new center was opened in December 2017 and was built after raising $11.3 million in funds from the community. It was the most significant construction and renovation project since the Y opened its original building in 1913.

An expansion to the east of the original building included a pool that opened in 1982. For the latest renovation and expansion, the YMCA renovated the 1982 pool and acquired property on the rest of the block to the east. The Y now can serve double the number of people served previously.

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