Most people have made some sort of resolution after the holiday season…eating less, exercising more, working harder, spending more time with loved ones. We all think of this time of year as the time to make changes in our lives. For many of us, those resolutions don’t last much longer than it took us to make them in the first place. And, this year, the Y wants to help us all keep the most popular resolution of all—to reach our health and wellness goals!
“Each year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions,” said Association Wellness Director Jordan Lloyd. “But, by the last week of January, many of those goals are already off-track. At the Y, our mission is, ‘Helping people reach their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body.’ We are fully committed to doing everything we can to help each individual who walks through our doors live healthier and reach his or her goals.”
Jordan has worked with people of all levels of fitness and knows how to be successful when it comes to weight-loss and wellness goals. “The biggest difference in making a New Year’s resolution that will work, versus one that will not work, is whether or not that resolution is simple and attainable,” Lloyd explained. “Most people make a list of things they want to change, or set an unrealistic goal, which sets them up to fail. Making a small change and being successful with it will ultimately lead to bigger changes later on. For example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds, instead of a making resolution of ‘losing 30 pounds in January,’ make a resolution of joining the YMCA and working out two to three times a week. This would be an example of a simple, attainable resolution that will ultimately lead to the bigger goal of losing weight.”
The Y is different than most workout facilities, because it provides multiple ways to keep us active, from the standard gym equipment to activities like swimming and basketball. There is also the added support of personalized service. “At the Y, we offer a program to all new members called “uFit” to provide the support and expert knowledge needed to make healthy changes,” Lloyd added. “uFit is valued at $150, but offered at no cost to all new members who join any YMCA of Northwest North Carolina branch. The program includes three individualized sessions with a certified wellness coach to help a new member get started in his or her new workout routine. The coach works with the member to help him or her create a plan to reach specific goals. Whether it’s weight loss, overall health, running a 5K, reducing stress or gaining muscle, our certified coaches meet the individuals where they are, and work with them to get where they want to be.”
Utilizing the knowledge of the experts at the Y will make the difference between achieving your goals and giving up on your New Year’s resolution before the end of January. “People sign up for a membership to start exercising for a specific reason,” stated Lloyd. “If they are making strides towards the overall goal they are trying to achieve, then they will stick with it. The key to this is getting set up on a workout routine that is enjoyable, but is also specific to the goal the member is trying to reach. It’s also important to set up specific, attainable progress markers along the way to show they are heading in the right direction. Rewards are important, too! Reward yourself in a healthy way as you hit each one of the small progress markers along the way, until you hit the overall goal you set out to achieve. When you first start, it’s important to try different types of workouts and classes to figure out what style is most enjoyable to you. If you don’t try something, you will never know if you love or hate it. Someone who enjoys a cycling class may not enjoy a yoga class or vice versa. Most people have a workout style that they prefer, but the hard part is taking the time or effort to figure out what that preferred style is. The Y is the perfect place to figure this out, because of the variety we offer to all people and ability levels. There are hundreds of group exercise classes available at our branches, from hot yoga to high-intensity interval training to water aerobics.”
What’s even better, is that joining the Y gives you access to all the YMCAs in North Carolina and Virginia, as well as the Gateway YWCA.
Jordan Lloyd is the Association Wellness Director for the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science/health promotion and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and psychology, as well as certifications as a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer; CrossFit L1 Coach; and coach for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. For more information, visit www.ymcanwnc.org.
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