YMCA bringing workouts to the digital age

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Local facility launches new app to track, map users’ progress

“There’s an app for that” can be said about nearly anything in today’s world, and recently, the Ozarks Regional YMCA launched a new app that allows members to track workouts, nutrition, schedules and progress all in the same place.

The Ozarks Regional YMCA app that can be found in the app store for any smart device.

Rick Ragsdale, Cassville YMCA director, said the app launched Monday, and all members that have been in the YMCA system within the last year should receive an email with instructions on how to register and download the app.

“I have been here for seven years now,” he said. “This is the coolest thing we have done.”

Ragsdale said if someone should get an email, but didn’t, he or she should check the email’s spam folder. If it isn’t there the person can call the Cassville YMCA, and someone can register the person remotely.

“Then, you just have to download the app,” he said. “Registration will ask your age, gender, height and weight, then you just set a password.”

Ragsdale said once registration is complete, the member can download the app and start tracking their progress. The user’s progress is private to the member specifically, and the YMCA can put certain statistics in, but cannot see an individual’s information that is logged into the app.

“The app will link to devices you may already have like an Apple watch or other activity and heart rate trackers,” he said. “The user can register and schedule classes right from the app, and even make payments.”

Ragsdale said the activity calendar will keep the users updated on classes or workout they schedule for themselves.

“You can access the page from both the app or a desktop, and the only difference is the layout,” he said. “It houses everything from workout groups to community groups.”

Ragsdale said an instructor can communicate as a group and even create meal plans.

“Once you have a fitness tracker linked up to the app, it will log and keep everything in the progress tracker on the app,” he said.

Ragsdale said the app will send out a push notification to the user to remind them of scheduled classes or if something is canceled and rescheduled.

“As a member, you can follow people or communities and invite people to follow yours,” he said. “We are allowing our instructors to handle their own groups and communities.”

Ragsdale said this isn’t a national YMCA development, but rather the Ozarks Regional YMCA partnering with a company that offered many different versions.

“We got to go in and decide what we wanted and choose how it was going to run,” he said.

Ragsdale said one really interesting thing the app offers is that a member can create a workout in the app based on a physical therapy regimen.

“They can move forward with the doctor’s process by finding a workout that works best for their regimen and logging it,” he said. “Also, it can be intimidating for a member to try a new machine that they may not know how to work.

“With the app, they can click on an info button, which will bring up a 3D explanation of how to work the machine.”

Ragsdale said it shows the user which muscles will be worked out, as well.

“The progress tracker shows where the user is at and then where they want to be,” he said. “It logs everything to how many reps the person does, and they earn badges along the way.”

Ragsdale said users can look at it as a day, week or month and see how many minutes the member has worked out, or how many miles were walked.

“Another really cool thing, is that the YMCA or instructors can create challenges for people to follow,” he said. “One we are working on is a three-week challenge during the first three weeks of November.

“People consume on average 4,500 calories during Thanksgiving dinner, and for three weeks beforehand, we are going to challenge members to burn 9,000 calories, or two Thanksgiving dinners, before Thanksgiving.”

Ragsdale said a member can also create challenges for their workout communities.

“The user can communicate with instructors and coaches with ease on the app,” he said.

For more information or to register at the Cassville YMCA as a member, people may call 417-846-1535.

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