YMCA of Greater Louisville


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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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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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7 Ways to Comfort Kids in Difficult Times

ImageThe YMCA of Greater Louisville is the largest provider of child care in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and we, along with the nation, watched in shock as the tragic events unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut.

Our hearts go out to every person that was touched by those events. We know that children will have questions about what happened, and we as the Y, feel that it is important for us to help parents communicate on this difficult issue.

Below are some guidelines that can be used if/when your child seeks answers:

  1. Try to exhibit a sense of calm in the presence of children.
  2. Create a safe environment and allow children to freely express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear or consequences. Ask and discuss what makes them feel safe.
  3. If the topic arises, ask how they feel and let them know that you understand. Validate their feelings and let them know that how they feel is OK. Sympathize and empathize with them.
  4.  Allow children to put their grief and/or emotions into action, i.e. write a letter or draw a picture.
  5. Be age appropriate, but direct, when answering questions. If the topic comes up, families should be encouraged to take breaks from the media coverage.
  6. Take note of any behaviors that seem to be out of character for the child as this may indicate the need to seek professional intervention. Behaviors can include, but are not limited to, persistent nightmares, bed wetting, soiling, aggressive behavior, isolating, etc.
  7. Maintaining normalcy in routines can also be helpful and comforting in these situations.

The Y will continue to work with our local experts to learn how we can continue to maximize the safety of our facilities and programs.


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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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Amped up for fall

Have you looked at the weather forecast this week? Temperatures are set to be in the 70s and 80s with loads of sunshine, and I am stoked! I felt like a whole new person this morning when I was able to walk out the door in short sleeves without shivering. Now as much as I love the cool crispness that fall brings–pumpkin lattes, sweaters, amazing colors–for awhile there it felt like we went straight from summer to winter on the thermometer, which is not okay with this lady.

Too many nice weather days slipped past me the last few months without running outside or hiking, so I’m determined to make my way out this week while I still can without adding on a ton of layers. I got a head start on Saturday when my fellow and I hiked for a couple hours at Jefferson Memorial Forest. The recent rain made all the colors pop so much that it was hard to get a good hike in; I kept stopping just to take in the scene.

We are lucky in Louisville to have such an expansive parks system, and if you haven’t spent much time at one lately, now’s your chance. The best advice I can give anyone this week is to block off a chunk of time to be active outside: go for a walk, go for a jog, go for a hike, just GO!


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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.