Essex County News

West Essex YMCA Invites Public to Free Trial of New Fitness Program

Defend Together YMCA Instructors Sherri Smith, Nancy Boccanfuso, Barbara Santola, Debbie Kramer, Christine Werner and Alexander "Xan" Pierre-Luis Credits: Barbara Santola

LIVINGSTON, NJ — With the increasing popularity of martial-arts-based workouts, the West Essex YMCA in Livingston is introducing its newest program “Defend Together®,” an innovative program that combines high-energy music with self-defense movements that target all the major muscle groups of the body. The Y is offering two free introductory classes to the entire community on March 18 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. with snacks and beverages for all participants.

Defend Together® is a group fitness program that stimulates the body and empowers the mind. According to the program description, the program is popular because of its ability to fight fat and burn calories. The instructors said participants can expect to see improvements in strength, speed, flexibility, coordination and balance. 

“Defend Together is an extremely versatile program,” said Barbara Santola, Health Enhancement Director and Defend Together instructor. “The workout intensity can be self-regulated by participants simply by increasing or decreasing the range and acceleration of movements. By adjusting intensity to their physical ability, participants will achieve a safe and effective workout.”

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According to the program description, routines are designed to be not only motivational but to shape and tone the body as well through a series of moves, including punches, jabs, elbows, uppercuts, blocks, front kicks, back kicks and side kicks.

Associate Executive Director Cheryl Francione said the Defend Together program is bound to “fight its way to the forefront.”

The two introductory classes on Saturday, March 18, are free and open to the public, including both members and non-members. To register for a class, call 973-992-7500.

Disclaimer: Barbara Santola, quoted above, is the mother of TAPinto Livingston managing editor Danielle Santola. 

Sobel & Co, a full-service accounting firm in Livingston specializing in family business and not-for-profits, is the proud sponsor of the Essex County News section of and For more information, visit the Sobel & Co., LLC website.

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