YMCA of Greater Louisville


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Be SMART This Year

photo201005_0007_18_previewThe New Year is almost here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.  Eat healthier. Go to the gym. Lose weight. Spend more time with family. Be a better employee. They all sound like great ideas on January 1, but so often, it seems like they get lost in the daily hustle and bustle just a few weeks in. So the question becomes: How do I create a New Year’s Resolution that isn’t just going to fall by the wayside by the end of January? It’s easier than you might think: Be SMART when setting your goals.

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Specific: The more specific your goal, the better your chances of achieving it. Think about what your resolution means. What does it mean to “Get in shape?” What does it mean to “Be a better employee” or “Be a better parent?” The answer is different for every person, so make these goals specific to your life.

Measurable: Part of being specific is having ways to measure your progress toward your goal. It’s easy to lose motivation if you’re not able to track your progress. Instead of just saying, “I’ll go to the gym more often,” think about saying, “I’ll go to the gym 4 days a week.” Instead of telling yourself you’ll eat better, say “I’m only going to eat fast food two meals per week.” Want to spend more time with your family? Make it a goal to eat dinner as a family three times a week, and set aside one weekend a month for family activities. Having measurable goals make it so you can hold yourself accountable.

Actionable: Make sure your resolution is actionable. That is, be able to form an action plan for your goal. If you want to lose weight, what actions will you take to achieve that goal? If you want to eat healthier, what actions will you take? If you want to spend more time with family or be a better employee, what steps will you take? Often times, people have ideas of what they want, but they don’t have a good idea of how to get what they want.

Realistic: Everyone has limitations, and you need to recognize your limitations when thinking about your resolutions. Maybe it’s not a realistic expectation that you can go to the gym for 2 hours 5 days a week. Then try for 1 hour, 3 days a week. Maybe schedules are hectic and you can’t sit down three nights a week to eat dinner as family. Then shoot for one or two nights a week. If you set a goal that you can’t realistically reach, then it will be much harder to stay motivated.

Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadline, and stick to it. Think about breaking your long-term resolution into shorter time periods. Instead of saying, “I will lose 15 pounds by bathing suit season,” say “I will lose one pound per week.” Stick to the one-pound per week plan, and you’ll be 20 pounds lighter by the time the end of May rolls around. Having shorter-term goals make the achievement of your long-term resolution a much less daunting task.

Still not sure what a SMART goal would look like? No worries; here’s an example: “To be healthier, I will lose 20 pounds by July 1 by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week and eating fast food no more than two times a week.

The specific goal is to lose weight in order to be healthier, and it can be measured in terms of pounds lost. The actions you take to reach this goal include going to the gym (for a measurable amount of time) and eating less fast food. Studies show that healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, so it is realistic to lose 20 pounds over the course of 6 months. Finally, with the July 1 deadline, you have a reasonable time frame in which to reach this goal of losing 20 pounds.

The New Year is a great time to make positive changes in your life. Here’s to a happy, healthy and SMART new year!


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A Resolution To Stay Motivated

Congratulations! You’ve managed to successfully keep your New Year’s Resolution of going to the gym and getting in shape for three weeks. But the first few weeks are the easy part. The hardest part of any lifestyle change is staying motivated and focused after the initial thrill. You’ve had a long day in the office, you need to make dinner and the kids have basketball practice. It becomes so tempting to say, “I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow.”

Here are 5 tips from Annabelle, one of our Wellness Directors, on how to keep yourself motivated.

  1. Make it fun: Workouts don’t have to be a bore or a chore! Try a dance class, give yoga a shot, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add some variety to your routine. Doing something you enjoy can help take your mind off the workout itself.
  2. Track your progress: Use an app on your phone or keep a workout log to see how you are building your workouts. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you can actually see results. Tracking progress can also help tell you when it’s time to take your workout to the next level or when it’s time to try something new.
  3. Set a goal: Remember your SMART goals! But goals don’t have to “I will lose 10 pounds” or “I will run a 7 minute mile.” Buy a pair of jeans that you want to fit in to, or sign up for a fun run to give you a real, tangible reason to work out.
  4. Reward yourself: Do something for you when you reach your goal! Buy a new workout outfit, pick up a new gadget, do something you enjoy! You congratulate others when they achieve something; don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself!
  5. Find a buddy: The gym doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating place. Bring your kids, significant others or a friend and deepen your relationships while you get healthier. And if you get on a fairly consistent gym schedule, you’ll even have a chance to make new friends and form new relationships with people you meet there!

 

Be sure to come and check back with us next week when we talk about some of the specific ways the YMCA can help you stay motivated and meet your fitness goals!


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The Y: We’re More Than A Gym; We’re A Cause

When someone says “The YMCA,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A gym? Swim lessons? The Village People? Well, we are a gym. We do give swim lessons. We are the focus of a late 70s song. But we’re also so much more! We’re child care and we’re future leaders. We’re group exercise classes and we’re nutrition advice. We’re LIVESTRONG® and we’re volunteers. We’re a community and we’re a cause.

You’ve seen it before; “The Y: We’re for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” But what exactly does this mean, and what do we have to offer?

Youth Development: Sure, we have our swim lessons, but we have so many more offerings for young people in our community! We offer childcare for children of all ages, with our all-day Child Development Centers and our School-Age Child Care Program that offers before-and-after-school care for kids during the school year. Our Youth Sports offerings range from soccer to basketball to lacrosse, volleyball and plenty more, and all help kids make new friends while having fun learning how to play and work together as a team. Summer Day Camps keep kids busy and active during those summer months when they are out of school, while our overnight camp at Camp Piomingo is a life-changing experience for many who attend.

We also have a number of opportunities for your child to grow as a leader with our YMCA Black Achievers and Youth Achievers Programs, our Metro Youth Advocates Program and our Teen Leaders Clubs. Learn more about our Youth Development Programs now.

Healthy Living: In addition to our workout equipment, we offer a number of group exercise classes, ranging from Aqua Fitness to Yoga to Pilates, many of which are FREE for members! Our Boot Camps and TRX classes are excellent ways to add some variety to your workout. Looking for something more personalized? Set up a complimentary Wellness Appointment with one of our wellness coaches, or sign up for a session with one of our personal trainers.

Being healthy is more than just working out; it’s about developing healthy lifestyles. We have Nutritional Counseling, and programs like the YMCA Weight Loss Challenge, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and the LIVESTRONG® Cancer Survivor Program to help you on your path to a healthier life. Find out more about our Healthy Living offerings.

Social Responsibility: At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Whether through services we provide for youth and families in crisis with our Safe Place Program, our Adult Day Health Center,  the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Transitional Shelter, our involvement with the ESL Newcomer Academy, our community advocacy and more, we are always looking to provide support to our neighbors. Learn more about our dedication to Social Responsibility.

We invite you to become part of our cause today!


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Don’t let life be the pits!

Rainbow mud. That’s how I would describe my appearance on Sunday morning after a few friends and I, along with 7500 other people, completed The Color Run 5k downtown. Now, this wasn’t so much a race as it was a colorful street party. For those of you who haven’t heard of The Color Run, the gist of it is that you start the run wearing a clean white shirt, and along the course, you get gently pummeled with colored powder; at the end, you look like something out of Willy Wonka.

I can say with total certainty that I’ve never had so much fun in a race! Our team–for PEACH’s sake–had one objective: get as colorful as possible. To accomplish this, we rolled around in color that had fallen to the ground at each station. STOP. DROP. ROLL. COLOR. It just goes to show, getting exercise and being active doesn’t have to be a drag. While this certainly wasn’t an intense cardio work-out, jogging and laughing at the same time with friends make for very fun physical activity.

You don’t have to be an Ironman competitor to complete a race. There are lots of runs and walks still left this summer and fall that would be great for the whole family to do, or if you’ve never completed a race before, there’s no better time than now to push yourself and do one! You can look at a fairly comprehensive list of races in and around Louisville here. There are a number of races for charity, so you can support a good cause and get in some exercise at the same time. Maybe you can even get a team together and make silly shirts for the race (“Don’t let life be the pits” was our team motto for The Color Run). However you go about it, I would highly recommend doing a race. Whether you run, walk, or do some combo of both, you’re going to feel great after you cross that finish line.


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Sandy’s Weight Loss Journey with the Y

Sandy Campbell has been a member and participant in the YMCA Weight Loss Program at the Oldham County Family YMCA since January, 2012. She has seen great success through this program, and has Imagegraciously shared her views on the program, her success, and her overall attitude with us.

Sandy, how has your life changed since beginning the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

I’ve been on every diet in the world and I was mislead on how to lose weight. The difference that I have seen since January in my life is night and day. I have figured out what hungry means and my body is now in charge of telling me what I need.

When losing weight in the past, what led to gaining the weight back?

Once I had reached my goal, I thought I was done. I went back to eating more, back to the TV, and back to eating while watching TV. I didn’t really think or know much about maintenance.

What is one of the main health improvements you have seen?

I was actually told by my physician at one point that I was a Type 2 Diabetic, but my last fasting glucose was 78 and my Hemoglobin A1C  was 5.1%.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I always have a goal in mind. My next goal is to eliminate artificial sweeteners. Also, I am not a water lover, so I am still working on that. I will never give up my creamer, though. 🙂

What part of this program makes it work for you? Image

I have learned to set goals that I can reach. This program’s focus on goal setting and counting fat grams is great. I was taught about the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. I have now found the perfect formula for me!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

If you want back your youth, you’ve got to get yourself back. The person inside has a lot of self worth, you have to get back that self worth to compete in this world. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it bad.

Any last words of wisdom?

My lifestyle has changed and I will never go back. I am throwing out my fat clothes. I stopped listening to what I wanted and started listening to what I needed.


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Here’s to life, more life!

My turn to blog this month happened to land on my birthday. Today, I am 25 years old–old enough to rent a car–and am up for celebrating!

I’ve seen people reach this age and commence to freak out because of all they were supposed to have done by 25–get married, have kids, land the dream job and dream house, and so on–but that’s not how I want to spend this day or this year. Sure, there’s a whole slew of milestones on a life list I would have liked to reach by now (oh, salary and benefits, one day we will meet) and aspects of my life I want to change, but I want to spend more time celebrating what I do have in my life, not lamenting what isn’t.

This morning, I kicked off the day with a bowl of cereal and a challenge: to jog the full loop at Iroquois Park non-stop, twice. Last year on this day, I huffed and puffed those hills and completed the full route jogging non-stop for the first time, so I thought I’d up the ante a little this year. My knees didn’t like it, and I was sweating glistening like crazy, but I pushed through, and 6.4 miles later, made it to the end. While my pace was nothing to write home about, I was excited just to finish and not pass out at the end.

Whatever your age, keep on challenging yourself and celebrating yourself.

Running past the woods today, I was thinking about people I’ve known in my life who never reached 25 and how incredibly lucky I am to be healthy enough to still be here, running. Today, I celebrate my health and my community–friends, family, neighbors, social justice allies, and YMCA palsYou should go celebrate something today! I plan on celebrating by crossing the bridge and having the best ice cream in all of Kentuckiana at Mom & Pop’s Cone Corner in New Albany later today. Maybe I’ll see you there.