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Relieving Stress and Connecting with Family through YWCA Live! Classes

By Kirstin Brown, YWCA Health and Wellness member
June 17, 2020
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June 17, 2020

In this blog story, Kirstin shares how YWCA’s virtual live classes have been a way to take care of herself and destress as a physician caring for COVID patients during the pandemic, and a way to stay connected to family who live in different states.


I joined YWCA Minneapolis as an outlet to stay energized toward the end of my Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Fellowship when I finally had time during my training work schedule to exercise more regularly. The philosophy of YWCA with its community outreach and diversity of members were other drivers for me to join and have contributed to my ongoing membership.


Caring for COVID-19 Patients


I am a physician in the Twin Cities, so I have been preparing for and caring for COVID-19 patients in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) here. Being ready for the pandemic and caring for our community during this time (although it is an honor) does add stress to my already busy practice.


This, on top of not having the time or ability to be close to family has been very emotionally difficult. My family is spread out between Michigan and North Carolina. It makes the conversations and time spent with them on web-based platforms even more meaningful. 


Sharing Zoom Fitness Classes with Family

All three of us at a Zoom workout! In vertically-descending appearance: Elisabeth Brown (North Carolina), Kirstin Brown (Minnesota), Judith Taylor (Michigan)


When I found out YWCA Minneapolis was allowing for nonmembers to participate in live Zoom fitness classes, I invited family and friends as a way to see one another while working on a common, healthy goal. To see my family on Zoom trying new classes, sometimes out of their comfort zones, has been fantastic – for me but also for them. It’s very uplifting for all of us – we know the others are healthy, safe and getting strong!

It’s very uplifting for all of us – we know the others are healthy, safe and getting strong!”

Alleviating Stress Through Movement


Exercise and movement alleviate stress and energizes me. I’ve tried the HIIT, Bodyweight Bootcamp, Pilates, Barre, Strengthen and Stretch, Cardio Kickboxing and Vinyasa Yoga classes.


The virtual classes have been creative and still challenging even with limited equipment. I keep my camera on to be accountable and to allow the instructors to watch form and make potential corrections for injury avoidance. I have gotten to try classes that I otherwise haven’t been able to catch at the fitness center due to my work schedule. It has been a huge time saver without the commutes around town. The interaction with others in an energizing setting has also been cathartic.

“The interaction with others in an energizing setting has also been cathartic.”

I’m thankful for YWCA for caring for our community. My goals for 2020 are to live more simply, honestly and to ensure I let people in my life know how much I care about them. The pandemic brought it all much closer and clearer faster. 


Learn More about YWCA Live! Fitness Classes