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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Zumba Experience

By guest blogger, Nina Walfoort

I had foot surgery last year and spent most of the following four months on the couch and limping around in my attractive navy blue Bledsoe Bunion Walking boot. When I could finally walk in a shoe, my foot felt like a brick in a wooden box.  I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any tennis in my future.

But I did slowly return to normal activity. Feeling did slowly return to my enlarged toes. And the best thing I did to hasten my recovery was to start Zumba classes at the YMCA.

It really does keep you on your toes. All those little steps! All that toe-tapping!  All that lunging and squatting!  I was having a ball, learning some dance moves and immediately seeing much improved flexibility in my feet.

And now the Louisville Free Public Library is including a Zumba lesson in its How-To Festival this Saturday, May 12. The festival promises to teach you 50 things in five hours including how to make beer, start a conversation and raise chickens. Go to www.lfpl.org/how-to/ for the full schedule. I recommend the Zumba demo, featuring one of my favorite YMCA Zumba instructors Becky Griffin, at 2 pm in the downtown branch at 301 York Street.

So if you go and get the Latin beat and want more, come to the YMCA classes at your local branch if you are a Y member. And don’t forget, our schedules are available at ymcalouisville.org.  We have dozens of great instructors and classes at all hours. Come downtown on the weekend. The light-footed one in the back of the class is me!

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Guest post by our Southeast Family YMCA Executive Director!

Wow, January is over now. What an amazing experience working at a Y is for the month of January. The volume of people in and out of our facility is tremendous with new folks joining and other members committing to life changes.

What a wonderful opportunity our new and old members present to us. The YMCA of Greater Louisville has 3894 over 8000 people that are now part of our family. Those people chose to join this YMCA, chose to trust us with the responsibility to help them accomplish a change or improvement in their life. Let’s face it, everyone has a reason for joining or continuing to be a member of the YMCA. If you are joining you have a need or dissatisfaction that you think the YMCA can help you solve. For each of our staff and volunteers the responsibility of being that “solution” is very important to us.

We go about that in a variety of ways:

– We continue to be told via both surveys and anecdotal comments that we have the friendliest staff around and that is not an accident. We do want the environment here to be friendly, welcoming and genuinely supportive. But it is not just a staff thing, our members have in large part created that as well. Watching new folks embraced and adopted into the group is gratifying to see; it reflects the environment here.

– We are following up in writing, electronically and on the phone with all of our new members to check on the progress they are making. Also, we are encouraging each new member to have an individual appointment with a member of our staff team in an area they are interested in such as: aquatics, wellness, group exercise or family programming. These meetings will help set realistic goals and help our staff do a better job of following up in a personal and meaningful way. We really do want to help every one of our member achieve and succeed.

– New member survey’s and member satisfaction survey’s are a tool we really rely on to learn how people feel about the experience and what we can do better to help our members reach their individual measures of success.

Hopefully we can see continued success and many of our newest members will be with us for a long period of time and what we do the YMCA can help them.



Work out in Water!

We all know someone who has trouble working out in the gym. Whether it’s someone with a bad back or your own father with a knee injury, it can be very frustrating when your injuries keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Working at the Y, I have made contact with many members who feel they are unable to meet their wellness goals because of their physical limitations. My answer? Work out in water!

Normally, when I suggest this solution to our members they look at me funny, and they begin to question the big difference between exercising on land or in water.  Water provides a great atmosphere to nurse an injured body back to health for one simple reason: The buoyancy of water reduces the “weight” of a person by about 90%, which means that the stress on weight-baring joints, bones, and muscles is reduced, causing less pain while still getting a great workout.  Another great point that I mention to our members is that it is a great way to meet and socialize with people who may have the same injuries or limitations as you do.

So the next time that you come in contact with someone who can’t get to the gym because of an injury, tell them about aquatic fitness and its many benefits. Feel free to check out the aqua fitness classes that the Y has to offer. See you in the pool!

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Planning for Success in the New Year

As we are all gearing up for the start of the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week, we do so knowing 2012 is right around the corner.  Here at the Y, that means we’ll see an influx of new members ready to challenge themselves to sustain a healthier lifestyle.  As a Wellness Director, it’s inspiring to see so many new faces being active and pushing past their comfort zones.

However, we also see the inevitable decline in attendance during the months of March and April.  I believe this is a result of new members either coming without a plan or setting unrealistic goals for themselves.  One way those who are trying to take incremental steps to a healthier lifestyle can accomplish this is by developing a set of SMART goals.  SMART is an acronym for the following:

Specific – Going into a new program, one should go a little farther than saying “I want to exercise more.”  What will you do and how often?  An example of this would be “I will walk three days a week for 30 minutes.”

Measurable – At the end of the week or month, you should be able to look at what you’ve done and know if you reached your goal.  In the previous example, one can easily oull out their activity tracker and see if they met that goal.

Attainable – In looking at your life, is the goal you’re setting possible?  Setting a goal that will conflict your other responsibilities is setting yourself up to fail.

Realistic – This is one most fall prey to.  Many of us watch a certain TV show in which participants often lose 15-20 lbs a week.  Human nature is to think “if they can do that, so can I.”  However, those contestants are in a very controlled environment.  For those of us in the real world, 1-2 lbs a week is a realistic weight loss goal.  By the same token, if you’re currently inactive, saying you’ll work out 6 six days a week probably isn’t going to happen right away.  It’s important to start small and go from there.

Timely – Your goal should have a time frame attached to it.  If you’re looking to lose some weight, give yourself a realistic deadline in which to do it.

If you’re someone that plans on getting back in the swing of things after the chaos of the holiday season, think a little about what you want to accomplish and how you plan on doing it.  If you’re unable to come up with a clear plan on your own, schedule a wellness appointment once you’ve joined the Y.  Our trained staff is here to help you.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Y and we’ll see you in January!

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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.