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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Y VENDING GETS A FACELIFT!

Let’s face it, the vending machine has historically been a dangerous place for anyone trying to limit their heart attacks to one per lifetime.

“Hmm…should I go with the Snicker’s bar or the Doritos? I mean, it was a pretty tough workout, maybe I should go with something like that Honey Bun.”

But, fear no more! The Y is helping its members choose healthier snacks with less effort! Healthy Choices at the Y Not only are we applying a new, easy to read labeling system, but many branches are improving the very options they are providing. By decreasing the amount of total fat and added sugar in our vending machines and increasing the amount of natural energy sources like nuts, you will be provided with the nourishment you need during your daily visits to the Y!

Look for the green, yellow, and red labels coming to your vending machines soon! Stick to the green and yellow items for healthier choices!!!


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Pin On

Tick… Tick… Tick… that is the only sound I hear at the moment which happens to be coming from the wall clock hung above me.  It is 3:18 AM in the morning and I am wide awake, which is very unusual for me; this coming from an individual who adores her shut eye more than anyone should.  Its pitch black in the house and the only light illuminating the room is the bright colorful screen in front of me.

Here I sit stuck in front of the laptop looking for my next weekend project all because I am to restless to climb in bed and call it a night.  Where do I find myself this early in the morning you ask?  I only have one addiction these days that I find myself consumed by, lurking for hours; searching for something to spark a jolt of creativity from me, and its evil name is Pinterest.

For those of you out there who are unaware of pinterest, I caution you, before leaving this page to perform a Google search; might I share a small warning, lol.  This site has literally taken hours away from me since its discovery months ago, I have actually lost track of time.  I call myself a pretty crafty person, and have always thought that I was a natural at it.  Let me just say, my mind was blown. I couldn’t believe all the simple ideas and imaginative creations that were flooding the empty file cabinets inside my head that others out in the World Wide Web had created.

For those of you who are followers, of mine, or those who I am following now, you will I’m sure completely understand my addiction and agree that you to might even have a small one.  I will in fact bank on it that you also have lost time over this site as well.  Chocolate, diet cherry coke, the food network; all addictions I have come to personally own up too, I can go days without, but not my pinterest.  Every single day of the week I sign in and add this or that to my boards.  If I want a recipe, a quote, a picture, or even to get ideas on planning a party; anything really!  It’s there.  From the Christmas ornaments I made in December, the wine bottle crafts I continue to perfect myself on periodically, to the apron I made this past weekend.  All these projects were inspired from this site, and I have only a ton more I want to try.

So next time, you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, and you are next to a laptop like me.  Go and pin yourself a couple of ideas you can do with the family to your board and create a plethora of ideas to keep those creative juices inside yourself flowing.  With Valentine’s day only being a couple of weeks away, get inspired from this site, I just know you will come up with something different this year to surprise your loved one.


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Choosing apples over chips

Chocolate and chips are a weakness of mine. I’m a snacker, and if I’m within six feet of either of these treats, there’s a good chance I’ll soon be munching on them. In trying to eat better these last few months, I’ve been looking for ways to make my snacking habits less hazardous to my health. Enter the apple!

This fall has been a great season for apples, and while you can find them at grocery stores year-round, it’s hard to top the taste of in-season fresh fruit. Apples serve as a great addition to breakfast or as an anytime snack–definitely a good post-workout snack to have in your gym bag. If you’re in a hurry or in a setting where crunching a juicy apple (apple juice running down the side of my mouth at work is something I’d like to avoid), then dried apples might be worth trying.

Using a food dehydrator, you can make sure your big bag of apples doesn’t go bad before you eat them by drying them out and making a tasty and portable treat. I’ve been carrying a little baggy filled with dried apples lately to munch on at work, and they’re just as addictive as chips! Dried fruit certainly does make a fine snack, but because some nutrients are lost and sugars are more concentrated, you still need to pay attention to just how much you’re eating. A serving of dried apples does still serve as a healthy snack in that one serving gives you 20% of your daily dietary fiber and 8% of your daily potassium.

So, if you’re a snackaholic like me, passing over the chips for dried fruit might be a good move for you. Home dehydrating is best, but if you don’t have access to a dehydrator, you can find a variety of dried fruits at most grocery stores.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? If you don’t have one yet, get to it!


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Not a Morning Person?

I am not what you would call a “morning person”. I never have been. I hate the incessant howling of the alarm clock and that first cold blast when you pull the covers back. I think I may have personally set the record for most snooze alarms in a single morning. To which, my husband will grumpily attest.

So the very idea that in order to squeeze a workout into my schedule I would have to get up and do it in the morning before work was appalling. I always thought those people were crazy. Who wants to be healthy so badly that they would give up precious pillow time? Turns out, I do.

When I made the decision to give the morning workout thing a try I figured it would be simple. Just get up earlier, right? But is it really that easy? I would have to plan ahead, pack a bag to shower and dress at the Y, pick out my clothes the night before and adjust my morning routine. Does the coffee maker even work at 5:00am? I wasn’t sure. I had never tested it!

There were a lot of false starts along the way. So many times I would lay in the dark under my cozy covers thinking of reasons to stay right where I was. It was too cold or too rainy or I would just do it later in the day. What is that…a sore throat? Better not risk it. Slowly, though, I started to make it out of bed for a workout. Not everyday, but one or two. Certainly wasn’t what I planned, but it was a start. Each time I did it, it got a little easier.

The key for me turned out to be accountability. I found a great running partner who is willing to drag herself out of bed early too. I won’t lie, in the beginning I would lay in bed praying my phone would alert me to a text message saying she had to cancel and I could go back to sleep. But the text (almost) never came and so off I went. Having someone expecting me, counting on me, to show up motivated me to do what I needed to be doing anyway.

So what should you do if you want to join the morning crew at the Y?

• If you like to have a cup of coffee in the morning or need a small breakfast before you workout, don’t cheat yourself. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself the time you need. Really, is there any difference between 5 am and 4:50 am?
• Put all your workout stuff out the night before. You don’t want to be digging around in the dark for your favorite shorts. The frustration will likely send you diving back under the covers.
• Pack everything you need for the day, the night before. This includes clothes, lunch, computer bag, etc. I can almost guarantee at some point you will forget something and packing it the night before reduces the risk of accidentally forgetting your pants. (Sadly, I have done this.)
• Find a workout partner as crazy as you! It really is easier with a friend.

Ultimately, it isn’t about making time to workout, it is about prioritizing yourself and your overall well-being. It is important to carve out a little bit of time for you. It may mean changing your routine or asking your significant other to pick up the slack a few mornings a week. But it will be worth it!

Morning workouts have actually become a part of the day I love the most. I really look forward to watching the sun rise while I am out running. It is time just for me. Before the phone calls and the emails and the “where’s that thing I need” start. Make no mistake, there are still days when I “oversleep”. But most of the time I get up, quietly so as not to disturb my slumbering husband and make my way out the door, travel mug of coffee in hand. Turns out, the coffee maker works even at 5am.