Ben Kreager works out at the YMCA Ironworks branch in Beloit. The Stateline Family YMCA invites everyone to its free STRONG Challenge. Each week will require 20 minutes of activity five days a week with different themes.

BELOIT—The Stateline Family YMCA is hoping to keep the minds, bodies and spirits of the Stateline Area healthy with its free STRONG Challenge open to the community. Each week will offer a theme and accompanying challenge with the goal of keeping people active for at least 20 minutes on most days.

“We are giving the community a way to reset 2020. We know not everyone is ready to come back inside a building. This is one way for people to stay on top of their health,” said Stateline Family YMCA CEO Ann Hankins.

“It’s a great way to get the community together and be able to keep everyone motivated during this time,” Membership Director Chelsea Bouback said.

Bouback explained the challenge will be spread over six weeks. It will be five days a week for 20 minutes a day.

“We will be posting a video every Sunday, which gives more information about the challenge of the week or the theme,” Bouback said. “It’s to get you moving for 20 minutes a day for the six weeks.”

The program is designed to encompass the whole person—spirit, mind and body. During the six weeks, staff and participants experiment with challenges and rhythms designed to open everyone up to a purpose-driven life that is strong.

The first week, for example, has the theme of “play.” It gets people to set up goals as a family and find people to hold them accountable.

“For 20 minutes each day ... do an activity along that theme. Your whole family can do it with you,” Bouback said.

This six-week transformation challenge is being offered to all Stateline community members for free. Participants will get weekly emails with instructions and support from other participants via a STRONG Challenge Community Facebook Group.

People must register by Friday, Oct. 16 to be part of the Stateline Family YMCA’s STRONG Challenge when it begins on Monday, Oct. 19.

People can register online at, on the Stateline Family YMCA App, or in person.

All registered participants will receive a welcome/prep e-mail on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Traffic to the YMCA Ironworks branch in Beloit is down due to the pandemic, but more people are beginning to come back. Whenever possible, exercise classes are held outside.

“They are also realizing exercise is an important component in helping with physical and mental health,” she said.

There are 42 children enrolled in the Ironworks branch in childcare and distance learning, and 165 children in its after school programming for Rockton, Roscoe and Prairie Hill schools in Illinois.