Y adds Healthy Living director; Fitness and chronic disease prevention duties merge in new position

Published 10:15 am Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Austin YMCA has a new fitness director, with duties that will now fall under the umbrella title of director of Healthy Living.

Katie Bielefeld, 30, began working for the YMCA in July, when she took a position as Chronic Disease Prevention coordinator. That position is now rolled into her new position, along with fitness director. Kristi Stasi will continue to work with members in the fitness center, while Bielefeld will oversee the programming.

She holds a degree in exercise science and has worked as a personal trainer for the past 10 years.

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Bielefeld has also maintained her own business as a life coach, where she designed fitness and nutrition programs for clients, and also conducted senior citizen exercise classes in Albert Lea.

That experience, she said, will help her in setting directions for programming.

“But first, I am working to meet current members, and to establish relationships with staff,” she said.

She said she would like to see more personal trainers on staff, to further develop already-great fitness programs, and to address childhood and adult obesity and diabetes with nutrition and exercise programs.

“And, I really want to instill the feeling that exercise is not a chore — but a lifestyle choice,” she said.

She would like to eventually adopt the Livestrong program, that provides appropriate and individualized fitness and nutrition support to those who are struggling with cancer.

She is excited about her new duties and, like her colleagues, is looking forward to the relocation of the YMCA to new quarters, part of the city’s new recreation center. The facility, which will include more space for programming, will be located in the former Austin Utilities building. The center is expected to be completed in 2019.

Bielefeld, a native of Osage, Iowa, lives in Northwood, Iowa, with her husband, Jordan, who is employed by Duke Energy, and their three children.

Those with questions can call Bielefeld at 433-1804, extension 105; or by email, at kbielefeld@ymca-austin.org