YMCA of Greater Louisville


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Women’s Health Month at the Y

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a good time for women to pay special attention to their overall health. With help from the Centers for Disease Control and Oldham County Family YMCA Healthy Living Director Karen Wyatt, here are some suggestions for women to attend to their health and fitness. With the return of busy school days and the crush of holiday activities – it’s easy to fall off the “healthy living” wagon.

Get recommended screenings and preventive care
Take steps to protect your health by getting the care you need to prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Regular check-ups are important. Preventive care can keep disease away or detect problems early, when treatment is more effective. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about what screenings and exams you need and when. The care you needed 10 years ago may be different than what you need today. And remember many health insurance plans now offer preventive services for women at no cost.

Keep moving
Get out and about and enjoy what’s left of the fall weather. Even a 30-minute walk at a moderate pace can lower your risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death for women – and ward off osteoporosis. As the colder weather sets in, you might consider joining a gym to stay fit throughout the winter. The Y offers a high-quality, well-maintained Wellness Centers with staff always available to offer support and assistance and the community at the Y makes it more fun to stay fit.

Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that require moderate effort and at least 2 days a week do strengthening activities that include all major muscle groups. Strength training can help reduce the chances for falls which means fewer fractures. Fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men.

Enjoy healthy foods
Enjoy the taste, nutrients, and colors of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. With all of the information about nutrition, food choices, and recipes available online and in the media, there’s not excuse not to have a healthy eating plan. Learn the basics and move toward a lifestyle of healthier eating habits. Resolve NOW to limit your intake of sweets and fats over the holidays. It’s important for women to know:

  • Every woman needs folic acid every day for the healthy new cells the body makes daily – like skin, hair, and nails. It’s also important to help prevent major birth defects when pregnant.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Binge drinking for women is four or more drinks in a single occasion.
  • Get started with a step-by-step guide to weight loss and better health.

Prioritize mental health
Keep your mind and body healthy. At the Y we believe overall wellness involves spirit, mind and body. There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health outcomes. Some easy ways to care for your mental health is to get enough sleep – adults need 7-8 hours each night – find healthy ways to cope with stress.

Practice healthy behaviors
Daily decisions influence overall health. Small actions like washing your hands and wearing a seat belt can help keep you safe and healthy, and set a good example for others. If you smoke, try to quit. More than 170,000 American women die of diseases caused by smoking each year. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit Smokefree Women at women.smokefree.gov for free resources, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live.

During the month of October, the YMCAs throughout the area are offering special activities to celebrate women’s health. At the Oldham County Family YMCA in Buckner is starting Enhance Fitness classes. This is a proven senior fitness and arthritis management program. Its purpose is to help older adults become more active, energized and empowered for sustaining an active lifestyle. The 16-week program is offered three days each week beginning October 19. The one-time cost is $75 for the 16 weeks.

Visit us at these Y locations for more FREE information and assessments during the month of October:
Friday, October 16: Flu shots, dental consultations, LIVESTRONG information and Y advice about personal training, weight loss and boot camp at the Southeast Family YMCA, 5930 Six Mile Lane.
Monday, October 19: Free blood drive and health fair at Norton Commons, 11000 Brownsboro Road
Tuesday, October 20: Lunch and learn about lymphedema provided by LIVESTRONG at the Northeast YMCA, 9400 Mill Brook Road.

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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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The Y Community: Here For You

YMCALast week, we offered 5 tips on how to stick to your New Year’s Resolution. Tips are great, but sometimes you need more than just tips. That’s where the Y can help!

Accountability, continued interest and confidence are three keys in a person’s success in ac

hieving any goals, whether it’s fitness-related, work-related, family-related or anything in between. Here at the Y, 

Toolsnothing makes us happier than to see people reach their potential and achieve their goals, and we do everything we can to provide you with the tools and welcoming atmosphere that are so vital to fitness success.

First time in the gym and have no idea where to start? Many of our branches offer FREE Wellness Appointments! Set up a time to meet one-on-one with one of our Wellness Coaches and they can answer your questions and help you come up with a workout plan that is tailored specifically to you.

Getting bored with your workout? Think about trying out one of our FREE group exercise classes! With hundreds of classes offered across our branches ranging from aqua fitness to cycling to yoga and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Not only will your workout be pre-planned and led by a certified instructor, you may become good friends with your classmates in the process! Don’t know what class might be a good fit for you? Just ask! Our Wellness Coaches and members would be more than happy to offer recommendations based on your goals.

Looking for something a little more intense? Many of our branches now offer Boot Camps, TRX Training, Triple Crown Running, a Weight Loss Challenge and more. These highly-structured programs can really give you a renewed sense of motivation. Want more personal attention? Our personal trainers would be thrilled to work with you!

And don’t forget, working out doesn’t have to come in the weight room or on the track. Shoot some hoops, hit the pool, play racquetball, just get your heart pumping!

The Y Family
When you join the Y, you’re not just joining a gym; you’re joining a community, and you’re becoming part of a family. From the first time you ever walk through our doors, it’s our mission to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Have a workout question? We’ll happily answer it for you! Looking for a workout partner? We can help you find someone. Need a minute just to talk and unwind? We’ll listen. And the best part is, it’s not just our staff that wants you feeling welcome. Many of our members love seeing new faces and want you to be a part of their Y community too!

Forming relationships with staff and fellow members goes a long way in keeping you motivated. A simple text from a workout partner saying, “When do you want to go to the Y today?” can be the difference between going to the gym and skipping a day. Knowing that you’ll be greeted with a smile and a happy, “Hello, John, how was your day?” every day by the staff makes it so you want to come back. There’s an atmosphere of caring accountability where if you miss a few days, you will be missed.

At the Y, we grow stronger together each and every day, and we are here to help you grow stronger in spirit, mind and body in 2014!

 


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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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Outside the Box New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen you and make your life better. When making New Year’s Resolutions, the YMCA of Greater Louisville wants to remind families that resolutions should also include family time.calendar

Here are some simple things families can do at home to improve their health while spending more time together. The following are 5 New Year’s Resolutions the Y recommends for 2013:

  1. Eat Together. Sitting down together for a meal is a great way for parents and kids to share stories, talk about the school day or share their favorite part of the day. Set aside time for your family to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once a week to catch up.
  2. Volunteer Together. Giving back and supporting neighbors benefits everyone. It teaches children and teens to the value of helping others while meeting new people or discovering new interests. Find an opportunity in your community that the entire family may enjoy, such as distributing food at a local food bank or cleaning your neighborhood park.
  3. Unplug from Technology. Limit screen time (TV, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an hour to play games, go for a family walk, take a bike ride, or a trip to the park. Make some family memories outdoors!
  4. Be Physically Active. It’s important for kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. And children aren’t the only ones who need activity – 30 minutes a day for adults too. Go swimming during Family Swim at your neighborhood Y or take a family exercise class.
  5. Put Extras to Good Use. Do you have extra clothes or canned goods that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs. You can get the entire family involved and demonstrate the value of giving.

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?


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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.