The Y plan is an exercise program adopted by scores of individuals worldwide as an effective fitness routine. Originally developed for the Central YMCA of London in the 1990s, the plan sets forth an innovative approach to fitness that could be adapted to suit most lifestyles. The program does not require any type of expensive equipment or gym membership and can be modified to suit fitness levels from beginner though advanced. Basically, the plan has made fitness easy and accessible to the average person.
Many health care providers and fitness experts believe that, in order stay healthy, most people require at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day. It is difficult, though, for the average person to find 30 minutes per day to devote to physical fitness. The Y plan was developed as an answer to that dilemma. The plan, originally described in a book co-authored by fitness experts Jill Gaskell and Lesley Mowbray, is based on the belief that, if a 30-minute exercise routine is broken down into simple 10-minute segments throughout the day, it will provide the same health benefits as a solid 30-minute block of exercise. Many people have found the shorter 10-minute sessions to be more tolerable and easier to fit into their schedules.
The book setting forth the basics of the plan became an almost instant best seller and became widely available on video and DVD as well. One of the greatest allures of the Y plan is that it requires no pricey, specialized equipment. In fact, the only items that might be required are elastic bands and floor mats, both of which are relatively inexpensive and readily available at most sports and fitness stores. Another advantage of the program is that it can be performed at an individual’s own pace and in the privacy of his or her own home. There is no need for a person to have access to a gym or fitness club.
Over the years, an entire series of DVDs has developed around the Y plan. One of the most popular of these, titled The Y Plan — Body Confident encompasses the basic aspects of the program, providing the viewer with six complete 10-minute workouts. These workouts include basic body sculpting, cardio training, and Pilates. They also include Latino dance, aerobics, and a toning and tightening set. It is recommended that the viewer choose three routines per day, five days per week, for the best results, but doing two workouts five times a week can also have a positive impact.
Other Y plan spin-off videos include routines designed for pre- and postpregnancy as well as fat-busting workouts. One of the more popular plan variations is known as the Y Plan Countdown. The countdown plan consists of a 36-day program of increasing intensity and difficulty designed to help people reach and maintain a maximum fitness level.
No exercise plan is foolproof, and individuals who use this particular program can meet with varying degrees of success. Further, not all exercises included in the plan are suitable for all individuals, and it is always wise for a person to check with a health care professional before beginning an exercise routine. Still, the Y plan has put many people on the road to a healthy lifestyle and has helped them to reach their fitness goals.