Healthy Living Resources

Our knowledgeable staff is available to work with members in our facilities, ensuring proper use of equipment to gain optimal results. We also partner with area organizations to be able to offer high-quality and unique programs, such as falls prevention with Aspirus physical therapists, cooking classes through our partnership with McMillan Library, and youth nutrition classes through our partnership with Extension.

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  1. Health & Fitness
  2. Healthy Living Resources

Walking Club

Every Thursday 12:00-1:00pm | Fee: $5.00 monthly

Walking even short periods holds many benefits both physically and mentally. Join us at the Y for weekly walks outdoors or on our indoor track, weather pending. Cost of $5.00 monthly goes towards a potluck  held on the last Thursday of each month!

For more information contact:
Sarah Wheeler, Community Health Worker & ForeverWell Coordinator or 715-818-9622

Parkinson’s Power

Parkinson’s Power is a group exercise class, specifically for those living with Parkinson’s disease, and their care givers. This is an upbeat class, with great music, designed to get the body moving, while focusing on balance, strength & flexibility. Participants will be doing both chair and standing exercises – modifications are offered, so all abilities are welcome! We are fortunate to be able to partner with 2 physical therapists in our Community, leading this class: Heather McCarthy, PT & Elizabeth Ironside, PT

Day: Wednesdays | Time: 12-12:50pm
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Facility, Studio A
Fee – Weekly Registration Required: Free for Members | Day Pass for Non-Members

Stepping on Falls Prevention

Stepping On can help you avoid a dangerous and costly fall, so you can keep doing the things you love to do. Hear from the Experts Physical Therapist Strength and balance Optometrist & Pharmacist Vision, hearing and medication increase fall risk. 

Stepping On: Fall Prevention Program Fridays, April 5- May 17, 2024 9:30 AM -11:30 AM
** You do not need to be a YMCA member to attend.
Register by calling: 888-486-9545

Livestrong Program

LiveStrong Spring 2023

Livestrong At The Y

LIVESTRONG at the Y is a FREE 12-week program for adult cancer survivors. Our program is about saying ‘goodbye’ to being a patient and saying ‘hello’ to being a healthy, whole person again. In partnership with our healthcare partners, we are able to bring this program to our community at no cost.

Contributions to our annual Partner of Youth campaign fund this free community program. $250 funds LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for one cancer survivor. Donate today and help rebuild someone’s spirit, mind, and body.

Brittany Bord 2 2022

For more Information of Livestrong reach out to:

Brittany Bord – Livestrong Instructor
(715) 818-9622  |


LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors achieve their holistic health goals. Program participants receive a FREE 3-month YMCA family membership to help further their wellness journey.


This research-based program offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person.
Participants work with YMCA staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem.

In addition to physical benefits, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA focuses on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community where people impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body. The program is available year-round at the South Wood County YMCA. Classes are twice weekly for 75-minutes per class over a 12 week period.
Check your local Y branch for schedules and times.

Participants will be invited to participate in several components of the program, including:

  • Group exercise classes
  • Individualized training and exercise development sessions
  • Social engagement activities, and
  • Educational seminars and guest speakers

This program is recommended for survivors who have recently finished their cancer treatment. Enrollment will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


Medical studies show that moderate levels of exercise help cancer survivors physically and mentally, increasing their overall quality of life. The YMCA’s goal is to support survivors through a program that provides them with a positive way to learn how to increase their physical activity.

Additional benefits will include reducing the severity of therapy and treatment side effects, preventing unwanted weight changes, and improving energy levels and self-esteem.

A final goal of the program will be to assist participants in developing their own physical fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle.

Certified Instructors

Certified YMCA fitness instructors will deliver the physical activity portions of the program. Instructors are trained in the elements of cancer, post-rehab exercise, and supportive cancer care.

Community Health and ForeverWell Program

ForeverWell crafts

Sarah Wheeler is our Community Health Worker and ForeverWell (55+) Coordinator.  

She is passionate about meeting community needs and advocating for access to resources within Wood County.

Sarah is trained in multiple offerings, including but not limited to:

  • Care Transition Interventions. Serving individuals with multiple hospitalizations by conducting a medication review, goal setting, and behavioral activation.
  • Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression Empowering Adult Seniors). A one-on-on consultation and accountability offering.
  • Stepping On, falls prevention class through WIHA.

***Sarah is currently going through the National Board Certification for Health & Wellness coaching and will be taking clients in 2024. Watch for more information to come.

Sarah Headshot 2

For more Information reach out to:

Sarah Wheeler

Community Health Worker & ForeverWell Coordinator

(608) 673-7247 |

Programs and offerings that Sarah is involved in at the YMCA:

ForeverWell (55+) Group

As a leading voice on improving overall health, the Y accepts the responsibility to find ways to serve our aging population, not only for individual health and well-being, but for overall community health. The South Wood County YMCA encourages all adults to develop behavior that is crucial to healthy aging, including healthy eating, physical activity, and social interaction. Local and statewide bus trips are also part of the fun of this social group*. ForeverWell meets every Monday from 11:15-12:15p in the teaching kitchen. See monthly calendar for more information. This is member benefit and does not cost anything to participate. (*Bus trips will have a cost associated)

Parent Café

Parent Café table leader. Parent Cafes are a free resource for parents to gather and talk about all things parenting. Childcare and family meal are provided. Parent Cafés happen three times in the spring and in the fall. They take place on a Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30pm and are sponsored by Childcaring Inc.

Parkinson’s Power coordinator

This class is facilitated by two physical therapists: Heather McCarthy from Marshfield Clinic, and Elizabeth Ironside from Riverview Aspirus Hospital. The class meets participants at their skill level and is open to caregivers as well. The class is free for members and $5 for non-members. The class takes place every Wednesday from 12-12:50pm.

Prayer request and Bible verse co-coordinator

The Prayer board is located on the second floor near the stretching windows. Feel free to leave your prayer requests so we can pray for you!

Red Cross Blood Drive coordinator

Red Cross Blood Drive coordinator. Register ahead of time. Red Cross Blood Drive dates for 2024:

April 9th Tuesday 10:00am – 3:00pm
June 14th Wednesday 10:00am – 3:00pm

Stepping On falls prevention classes

These are evidence-based fall prevention classes that happen twice a year. Stepping On can help you avoid a dangerous and costly fall, so you can keep doing the things you love to do. Hear from the Experts Physical Therapist Strength and balance Optometrist & Pharmacist Vision, hearing and medication increase fall risk. Community Safety Expert Avoid hazards in your home
Stepping On: Fall Prevention Program Fridays, April 5- May 17, 2024 9:30 AM -11:30 AM
** You do not need to be a YMCA member to attend.
Register by calling: 888-486-9545

Walking Club

Walking Club meets every Thursday 12:00-1:00pm. Walk outside until weather isn’t cooperating, then utilize the YMCA’s indoor track on the second floor. Cost is $5 per month and goes towards a monthly potluck on the last Thursday of the month.

Wellness Library liaison

Members have the benefit of checking out our wellness-oriented books for up to 30 days. There are adult and children’s books available. Books are located in the front lobby next to the Community bulletin board. Please see front desk to check out books.

Wellness Workshop

Dimensions of Wellness Workshop is an hour workshop that covers all 8 dimensions of wellness. Participants walk away with a better understanding of each dimension, as well as some hands on tools to set SMART goals.