Helena Family YMCA and St. Peter’s Health Partner on New Youth Fitness Program

December 20, 2019

Helena Family YMCA announces the official launch of the Brand X Method™, a world class strength and conditioning program specifically designed to improve youth wellness. St. Peter’s Health provided seed funding to launch the innovative program, which incorporates fitness and fun for youth ages three to 18, and helps young people develop life-long love of fitness and healthy habits.

David Oclander joined the Helena Family YMCA in May 2019 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). According to Oclander, “since arriving in Helena, I’ve heard from countless parents that there are not enough growth, development and enrichment opportunities for youth.” The Helena Family YMCA is introducing Brand X Method™ as part of its commitment to address the community’s need for an increased number and variety of quality youth programs.  “We are doing this because we believe it is essential for us to help youth build their foundations in performance, fitness, confidence and character for life,” said Oclander.

“The program is designed to benefit kids of all ages and skill levels,” remarked Oclander. “For example, we know that single-sport athletes sustain more injuries if they have not developed the foundations in basics of physical skill and strength. Brand X Method™ will help them improve their overall strength and give them a good foundation so they can thrive in their sport of choice. It is also designed to develop the tools and confidence in youth so they can grow to enjoy new sports and other activities.” Oclander is quick to point out that the program is not just for athletes. “The program is great for youth who aren’t in sports and want a fun opportunity to be active and challenge themselves.”

St. Peter’s Health supports efforts that encourage youth to live healthy, active lifestyles, and was excited at the prospect of supporting the local YMCA’s new effort. “We know the development of healthy habits can start young and last a lifetime,” said St. Peter’s Health Director of Population Health Amy Emmert, RN. “We are committed to investing in the work of local organizations like the YMCA to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

Obesity, in part due to inactivity, can be a significant barrier to health in our community, according to the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment. According to the assessment, nearly 30 percent of local residents are obese, and over the past decade, the percentage of county high school students who meet physical activity recommendations has steadily decreased. Obesity is linked to the increased likelihood of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “Programs like Brand X Method™ are great for people of all ages, including youth, because even a small amount of physical activity can result in relatively immediate health benefits like improved cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced symptoms of depression,” said Emmert.

Brand X Method™ classes will be offered to the community beginning in January 2020. Families and children do not need to have a membership to the YMCA to participate. Registration is open at www.helenaymca.org. Space is limited. If you have questions, please contact the Helena Family YMCA at 442-9622.