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New Year, New You: YMCA leaders share tips for a healthy 2016

BY KIM THOMAS

Hamburg_Jan16_10It is hard to imagine one’s history in physical fitness without thinking about the YMCA. It is where many of us learned to swim, trampoline, archery — and participate in summer day camps and after school swim teams.

Today, the YMCA still represents an encouraging network of advice and instruction, as well as an exercise sanctuary for those who just want to swim some laps on their own. There is something for everyone and the folks at your local YMCA are more than willing to be your fitness guru in the coming year — just ask them! With the new Hamburg YMCA coming later this year, it will never be easier for you to maintain fitness and health goals in 40509.

“Finding a supportive community like the Y can be beneficial in keeping resolutions on track, because our organization is so much more than a nonprofit gym,” said David Martorano, President/CEO for the YMCA of Central Kentucky. “It’s a community of supportive neighbors that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity for the New Year and years to come.”

Martorano lends his advice for the new year/new you. “A positive outlook doesn’t always translate to action without setting manageable goals and leaning on the support of health and wellness communities.”

Here are five tips the YMCA of Central Kentucky recommends to help make a healthy New Year’s resolution stick:

  1. Start small. Set attainable resolutions. For example, if your goal is to exercise more frequently in the New Year, don’t schedule seven days a week at the gym. Start with a reasonable three days a week. If you’d like to eat healthier, try replacing desserts with other foods you enjoy, such as fruit or yogurt.
  1. Take it one step at a time. Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t require you to reassess every little detail of your life. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones takes time, so don’t become overwhelmed. Work to change one behavior at a time, and then go from there.
  1. Choose a facility that focuses on a holistic approach to health. When it comes to adding healthy behaviors —like working out — to your lifestyle, finding a facility that keeps you motivated is critical to maintaining your exercise routine. Before committing to a membership, take a tour of local gyms to find the best fit for you. Your facility should not be just a gym, but a community organization that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity.
  1. Establish a little friendly competition. More than half of the Y survey respondents felt a little “healthy competition” when friends encouraged them to be even more committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Share your experiences with support groups — friends, family, fellow workout class members or close colleagues. Talking about your struggles and successes will make your goals more obtainable and less intimidating.”
  1. Set New Year’s goals with someone you love. It’s easier to stick to your resolutions if you have a partner working toward similar goals. Team up with a family member to set your 2016 goals, and establish a game plan that is dedicated to achieving them.

Hamburg_Jan16_11Erin Jones, Health & Wellness Director at Beaumont YMCA reflects on 2015 as a year full of inspiration. She loves to tell the story of a twelve year old “who celebrated her birthday by inviting friends to attend the 80s Dance Party at the Beaumont Y. This was a fun event that raised money for the YMCA Annual Giving Campaign. She asked that her friends donate to the YMCA summer camps fundraiser in lieu of receiving birthday gifts. The girls enjoyed dressing up 80s style and learning the workout routines of the era. They were tired by the end of the event but found renewed energy for the raucous slumber party at Caroline’s house. The group was very excited to know that another Lexington kid might be learning how to swim this summer!”

There are tons of new opportunities to exercise and get fit while doing something you enjoy, like dancing. Jones agrees. “One Zumba participant in particular is a dedicated Zumba student rarely missing class. She has lost over 32 lbs and I’ve seen her do this in a very healthy and positive way. She encourages her family as well because they ALL come and exercise together. She is a busy mom of two, a devoted wife and a hard worker. ”

Come for the Zumba, stay for the Yoga – make it your resolution to find your place for fitness at the YMCA this new year!

The Hamburg facility’s opening has been targeted for summer of 2016; it will located off Sir Barton Way and Old Rosebud. The new Y will include a warm water pool, lap pool, health and wellness center, exercise studios, youth arcade and child care, gymnasium, indoor track and locker rooms.

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ABOUT THE YMCA

YMCA -Mission: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

YMCA Cause: A dynamic association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why our cause and our programs are based on the needs and interests that will strengthen our communities.

YMCA Work: “The Y is dedicated to building programs for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility that promote strong families, character values, youth leadership, community development and international understanding. The Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive by providing supportive and inclusive environments that nurture the potential of every youth and teen, improves the nation’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.”

This article originally appears on pages 10-11 of the January 2016 printed edition of the Hamburg Journal. 

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