IMPACTING LIVES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
The Y brings people together every day, providing opportunities to promote healthier decisions that support physical, intellectual and spiritual strength.
Taking Charge of My Life
Several years ago I had a conversation with a good friend. After explaining how much stress I was going through and some of my symptoms, my friend asked, “Have you seen a cardiologist?” I really didn’t want anything else on my agenda, but I broke down and went.
The cardiologist detected an irregular heartbeat and palpitations brought on by stress. For every good heartbeat I had one bad one. I started taking medications to slow down my heart rate but noticed I was struggling to breathe. At my next visit, the cardiologist said I now had three bad heartbeats for every good one and I was not going to live long like that.
I needed to take charge of my life, so I immediately began to walk and take yoga. I joined the YMCA and started attending a group exercise class. Before long, these classes became “tame” for me and I started more intense classes. Soon I forgot that I was taking these classes because it was “what the doctor ordered,” they had become part of my daily routine and something I enjoyed.
Eventually my cardiologist reported that I no longer had extra heartbeats. He was amazed and asked what I had done so he could share it with his other patients. Yoga and regular exercise at the Y were the keys to my success.
Remaining Motivated on my Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle
I joined the Diabetes Prevention Program in May of 2016. My experience has been life-changing, and I heartily support the program. The program promotes a lifestyle change of nutrition and physical activity which reduces the risk of diabetes. For several years my primary care provider urged me to lose weight and exercise more because I was pre-diabetic. I joined a gym with good intentions, unfortunately, my efforts failed repeatedly. Last March my doctor referred me to the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. I made the one-year commitment and had learned nutrition, the importance of consistent physical activity, and have identified road blocks that kept me from reaching my goals. The facilitator and classmates offer additional support as we take this journey to a healthier lifestyle together.
Now, five months into the program, I remain motivated and have exceeded my goal of 7% weight loss. I exercise at the YMCA at least three times a week and now understand how a balanced and healthy lifestyle will protect me from diabetes. I am looking forward to my next appointment with my doctor instead of the usual dread. I am confident that my lab results will show improvement. More importantly, I now feel healthy and optimistic that my life-style changes will be long-term.
Learning Together – Savoring Healthy Choices
Our daughter Sophia entered the YMCA preschool program in September. We have been amazed by the learning Sophia has accomplished over the past couple of months. She loves to talk about HALO (Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones), the part of the preschool curriculum that focuses on healthy choices. We have enjoyed several fun and informative conversations in the car and at the dinner table sparked by what Sophia has learned through HALO. Not only is Sophia more aware of healthy versus harmful choices, but she has made us think twice about some of our choices especially when it comes to the foods we eat. Sophia loves to talk about how healthy choices help build a healthy body. The Y has become an extension of our family and encourages us to make healthy choices for our family. We enrolled Sophia in the Y to help her early learning experience; we had no idea what we would learn as a family.