Erie, PA –  Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired in these COVID-19 times?

The YMCA of Greater Erie invites all in the community to participate in a free six-week STRONG challenge designed to help transform spirit, mind and body. The Erie community joins with over 125 YMCA communities nationwide in launching STRONG on Oct. 19.

“Now, more than ever before, we need to recharge and refocus,” said YMCA of Greater Erie CEO Gerry Vandemerwe. “The COVID-19 pandemic has worn us down. It’s isolated us in so many ways. This challenge provides an opportunity to get active and healthier on your own or as a Strong family.”

All in the community can opt-in to the free challenge by texting #STRONG to 22300 or register at Follow the prompts to sign-up and participants will receive three texts or emails a week filled with motivation, challenges, workouts and more. A Strong “starter kit” is available for pick-up at local Y locations with registration confirmation and, upon completion, additional incentives awarded.

“Participate on your own time where you’re most comfortable – at home or at the Y- or a combo of both. While an active Y membership is NOT required for STRONG participation, it is required if you intend on using the Y. There is plenty of support either way,” said Vandemerwe.

The Y is making available a STRONG website, free on-demand and live stream classes, a virtual facebook closed group community and inspirational resource videos.

“It’s the perfect time to take back our lives, reenergize, achieve goals, feel better and stronger,” added Vandemerwe.


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