For A Better Us

September 26, 2017

Bringing “Us” Together

For more than 160 years, the Y has been a place that brings communities together. Here on the First Coast, we have been committed to uniting, supporting and celebrating individuals and families for nearly 110 years.

We’re excited to share with you a new short film produced by YMCA of the USA that showcases the Y’s work as a vital nonprofit that makes a difference in 10,000 communities across the nation.



At our core, the Y is about helping individuals reach their full potential, and giving them opportunities to connect with their neighbors, all in service of making us better as individuals, communities and as a nation.

We are in this together.

Thank you for helping us make the First Coast stronger.

For more than 160 years, the Y has been a place that brings communities together. Here on the First Coast, we have been committed to uniting, supporting and celebrating individuals and families for nearly 110 years. We’re excited to share with you a new short film produced by YMCA of the USA that showcases the Y’s work as a vital nonprofit that makes a difference in 10,000 communities across the nation. At our core, the Y is about helping individuals reach their full potential, and giving them opportunities to connect with their neighbors, all in service of making us better as individuals, communities and as a nation. We are in this together. Thank you for helping us make the First Coast stronger.


March 24, 2017

You Can’t Afford to Ignore This

In the United States alone, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in adults, and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more often in children, but the rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly for both adults and children.

In 2012 alone, the American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion.

The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions.

Tuesday, March 28, is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®, and it’s important that you know your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventive steps you can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

As the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health the First Coast YMCA encourages all adults to take a diabetes risk test. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others.

“Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” said Kristy Cook, Director of Healthy Living Innovations at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “Steps taken now to prevent developing diabetes not only makes good health sense; it makes good economic sense.”

The First Coast YMCA is helping people make healthier choices that can help reduce the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes with YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program classes in April and May.

Some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and an increased focus on healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

  • Reduce portion sizes of the foods you eat that may be high in fat or calories.
  • Keep a food diary to increase awareness of eating patterns and behaviors.
  • Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Incorporate more activity in your day, like taking the stairs or parking farther away from your destination.
  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of the disease or are overweight.

Test Your Knowledge and Earn Y Rewards Points

In the United States alone, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in adults, and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more often in children, but the rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly for both adults and children. In 2012 alone, the American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion. The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal,…


February 24, 2017

An Apple A Day…

March is National Nutrition Month. With a balanced approach, even the busiest families can discover ways to eat healthier and feel better. Here are some quick and easy recipes to try at home.

Apple Nachos

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 1-4

Ingredients:

Mix of apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala) – 1 per serving
Sun butter or peanut butter
Coconut Flakes
Raisins

Directions:

Core and slice apples, lay out on plate
Heat nut butter until creamy, drizzle over apples
Let each person choose their own toppings to sprinkle on top

No-Cook Strawberry Applesauce

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 apples (suggested: Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh)
10 strawberries

Directions:

Core and chop apples
Remove strawberry tops
Blend apples and strawberries together in food processor or blender
Serve cold

Cinnamon Applesauce

Total time: 20-30 mins
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 apples (suggested mix: Honey Crisp, Granny Smith)
1 cup of 100% apple juice or 100% apple cider (may substitute water)
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)

Directions:

Core and chop apples
Add apples, 100% juice and cinnamon to saucepan on medium heat (cover)
Allow apples to simmer and mash softened apples in saucepan or add to blender
Serve warm or cold

March is National Nutrition Month. With a balanced approach, even the busiest families can discover ways to eat healthier and feel better. Here are some quick and easy recipes to try at home. Apple Nachos Total time: 10-15 mins Serves 1-4 Ingredients: Mix of apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala) – 1 per serving Sun butter or peanut butter Coconut Flakes Raisins Directions: Core and slice apples, lay out on plate Heat nut butter until creamy, drizzle over apples Let each person choose their own toppings to sprinkle on top No-Cook Strawberry Applesauce Total time: 10-15 mins Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 4 apples (suggested: Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh) 10 strawberries Directions: Core and chop apples Remove strawberry tops Blend apples and strawberries together in food processor or blender Serve cold Cinnamon Applesauce Total time: 20-30 mins Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 4 apples (suggested mix: Honey Crisp, Granny Smith) 1 cup of 100% apple…


January 31, 2017

A Treat for YOUR Heart

Give your own heart a treat in February with two simple ways to prevent heart disease: monitoring your blood pressure and reducing sodium intake.

HighBloodPressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. High blood pressure is most prevalent in minority communities, and is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.

Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at least twice a month over a four month period, along with regular physical activity, proper nutrition and reducing sodium intake, may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is now offering a Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program that helps adults with hypertension lower and manage their blood pressure. The program focuses on regular monitoring of one’s blood pressure at home using proper measuring techniques, individualized support and nutrition education in an effort to reduce blood pressure and improve their quality of life. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) seminars are also part of the program. These seminars will highlight the importance of practicing healthy eating habits. Participants of the Blood Pressure Self- Monitoring Program to measure their blood pressure with coaching for proper measuring techniques from a trained Healthy Heart Ambassador.

WATCH: News4Jax’s Melanie Lawson Reports on YMCA Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program

For more information on the program, call 904-265-1810 or email prevention@firstcoastymca.org.
Besides monitoring your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is a great way to keep your heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association, too much sodium in your system puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.

“There are many factors in keeping your heart healthy and having a handle on your blood pressure is an effective tool in the preventing heart disease,” says Lisa Peacock, Director of Healthy Living Innovations: Chronic Disease Prevention, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “Whether you have high blood pressure or are at risk for heart disease, the Y has many options available that can help.”

In addition to programs and services offered in Northeast Florida, the Y offers the following tips from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help reduce sodium in your diet.

  1. Think fresh: Most of the sodium Americans eat is found in processed foods. Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions—especially cheesy foods, such as pizza; cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli/luncheon meats; and ready-to-eat foods, like canned chili, ravioli and soups. Fresh foods are generally lower in sodium.
  2. Enjoy home-prepared foods: Cook more often at home—where you are in control of what’s in your food. Preparing your own foods allows you to limit the amount of salt in them.
  3. Fill up on veggies and fruits—they are naturally low in sodium: Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits—fresh or frozen. Eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal.
  4. Adjust your taste buds: Cut back on salt little by little—and pay attention to the natural tastes of various foods. Your taste for salt will lessen over time. Additionally, keep salt off the kitchen counter and the dinner table and substitute spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods.
  5. Boost your potassium intake: Choose foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure. Potassium is found in vegetables and fruits, such as potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), and bananas. Other sources of potassium include yogurt, clams, halibut, orange juice and milk.

Give your own heart a treat in February with two simple ways to prevent heart disease: monitoring your blood pressure and reducing sodium intake. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. High blood pressure is most prevalent in minority communities, and is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms. Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording your blood pressure at least twice a month over a four month period, along with regular physical activity, proper nutrition and reducing sodium intake, may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is now offering a Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program that helps adults with hypertension lower and manage their blood pressure. The program focuses on regular monitoring of one’s blood pressure at home using proper measuring techniques, individualized support…


November 4, 2016

Stick a Fork In It

End the cycle of boring lunches with these healthy-living solutions.

By the YMCA’s Sara Glenn and Kimberly Lewis for Edible Northeast Florida

Back in the day, lunch was “dinner” and dinner was “supper” because everyone went to bed at sundown. Most ate their biggest meal of the day between noon and 2 p.m., and supper was a light snack, eaten before bedtime. It wasn’t until the 20th century, with work being farther from home, when lunch became something lighter, carried with you to the workplace.

It’s a problem we tackle at the YMCA when creating healthy-living solutions for our members and the entire community. Many of the professionals we work with feel maintaining healthy eating habits at the office adds another project to their workday. However, by debunking common myths about lunch at work, eating healthy can be quick, easy and make you feel happier in the long run.

MYTH #1 – LUNCH EQUALS A SANDWICH

Growing up, your mom may have made you a sandwich in a brown paper bag, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue the tradition. Lunch could be a handful of your favorite snacks and fruits assembled in a bento box. It could be breakfast or even dinner. There is more than one way to eat a healthy lunch. Keep it interesting and pack a meal with creativity.

Today, collaborative workspaces and teams can also mean a collaborative lunch. At the Y, we select a salad day to enjoy the harvest greens from our vertical tower garden created by the SEEDifferently initiative. The team brings in their favorite salad toppings for a potluck style lunch. Lunch by teamwork means that rather than carrying an entire meal, you team up with your colleagues to complete a lunch with ingredients that you may have never tried before—it’s a good way to add variety to your plate or lunch bag.

MYTH #2 – WORK CANNOT WAIT

According to the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods Foundation, 70 percent of Americans eat at their desks several times a week. In reality, you have to take care of yourself first in order to deliver the best work product.

If taking a full hour seems impossible, at least try to step away from your desk. Ask a co-worker to walk a couple of blocks with you and pick up a veggie burrito or a bowl of pho to break up your work day while getting physical activity. An active lifestyle can lead to healthier eating habits. When you have to stay in for lunch, eat in the break or conference room with others, where you can share conversations, which also encourages us to choose healthier options and eat less.

MYTH #3 – YOU MUST PLAN AHEAD

Planning ahead is a common recommendation for almost any situation, but we know that it simply does not always happen. As working parents or professionals, we often do not have the time to plan and prepare for our own lunches. However, juggling family, friends and work schedules does not mean that we are trapped into eating French fries and a hot dog.

As healthy eating becomes a higher priority in today’s world, many convenience stores now carry more than candies and sodas; fresh fruits, protein bars and healthy options may be only a few steps away from your office. Local delis usually offer specialty items that differ from day to day. Even with your last-minute decisions, healthy choices can be found around the corner.

MYTH #4 – EATING HEALTHY IS BORING

Healthy doesn’t have to mean eliminating your options. In fact, healthy meals feature a variety of food types. Keep a balanced plate in mind. Visualize it—half your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter of the plate should be protein and one quarter should contain starch/grain. Right there you have four opportunities to create an exciting lunch.

Instead of eating a plain chicken sandwich on a whole-wheat bun, add a slice of pineapple. Try to replace the ketchup and mustard with teriyaki sauce and a crunchy piece of lettuce to add texture. One small change can enhance the flavor, interest and overall experience of your meal.

Now that we’ve debunked some popular myths, it’s time to figure out what works for you. Consider what you need in order to plan ahead, think about when it makes sense to grab lunch with a colleague and determine how you can up your lunch game with healthy yet tasty foods that will not only bring you lasting energy, but also a more productive mind.

RECIPE FOR A HAPPIER WORK LUNCH

End the cycle of boring lunches with these healthy-living solutions. By the YMCA’s Sara Glenn and Kimberly Lewis for Edible Northeast Florida Back in the day, lunch was “dinner” and dinner was “supper” because everyone went to bed at sundown. Most ate their biggest meal of the day between noon and 2 p.m., and supper was a light snack, eaten before bedtime. It wasn’t until the 20th century, with work being farther from home, when lunch became something lighter, carried with you to the workplace. It’s a problem we tackle at the YMCA when creating healthy-living solutions for our members and the entire community. Many of the professionals we work with feel maintaining healthy eating habits at the office adds another project to their workday. However, by debunking common myths about lunch at work, eating healthy can be quick, easy and make you feel happier in the long run. MYTH #1 – LUNCH EQUALS A…


May 2, 2016

Farewell to Food Guilt

Stuffing food in an envelope and mailing it oversseas seems an unorthodox form of protest. Unless you’re an 8-year-old who is forced to finish her dinner because “there are starving children in Africa.”

While we would have hoped the protesters of our youth might have gone on to start a revolution, sadly, most have likely joined the eight out of 10 American women who suffer from food guilt. And yes, we mean suffer! Food guilt has many flavors, new ones we’re learning more about each day. It’s about what we eat and what we don’t eat, what we feed our families and having the perfect relationship with food.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE FROM EDIBLE NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Authors

KimSaraSara Glenn is the Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and leads the Y’s nutritional services, including the vertical garden initiative, SEEDifferently.

Kimberly Lewis is the Annual Campaign & Volunteerism Director for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, is passionate about teaching kids to volunteer, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade.

Stuffing food in an envelope and mailing it oversseas seems an unorthodox form of protest. Unless you’re an 8-year-old who is forced to finish her dinner because “there are starving children in Africa.” While we would have hoped the protesters of our youth might have gone on to start a revolution, sadly, most have likely joined the eight out of 10 American women who suffer from food guilt. And yes, we mean suffer! Food guilt has many flavors, new ones we’re learning more about each day. It’s about what we eat and what we don’t eat, what we feed our families and having the perfect relationship with food. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE FROM EDIBLE NORTHEAST FLORIDA Authors Sara Glenn is the Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and leads the Y’s nutritional services, including the vertical garden initiative, SEEDifferently. Kimberly Lewis is the…


February 10, 2016

First Coast Wins Treadmill Tuesday Challenge!

– More than 3,400 Floridians log 7,449 miles in event to encourage healthier lifestyles –

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce its win in the Treadmill Tuesday Challenge, a competition with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. Nearly 1,750 First Coast residents completed 3,813 miles during the 12-hour event, surpassing the Tampa Bay by 177 miles. For the Tampa Bay area, 1,686 residents logged 3,636 miles. Together, the First Coast YMCA and Tampa YMCA leveraged a friendly competition to inspire community members to become more physically active and adopt healthier lifestyles.

“Treadmill Tuesday is another way for us to promote the importance of getting 30 minutes of activity or exercise each day, it’s about building a healthy community,” said Eric Mann, president and CEO of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “This year’s competition with our friends in Tampa made the event even more exciting and it’s been incredible to see these communities come together with a cheerful spirit and determination.”

As part of the friendly wager agreed upon by the two YMCA CEOs prior to the competition, Looby will wear a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey, the jersey of the winning community’s NFL team, this week. Additionally, the Tampa YMCA will send a basket of hometown favorites to the YMCA in the winning community.

“The remarkable turnout of the Treadmill Tuesday Challenge has once again demonstrated the importance of community involvement in improving Florida’s health and well-being,” said Tom Looby, president and CEO of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. “While this year’s competition has come to an end, both communities’ Ys remain committed to strengthening the health of our communities.”

In addition to participating at their neighborhood Y, community members were able to join the competition from other locations via social media. Of the 3,435 participants, more than 65 joined by uploading a post-workout photo of treadmill dashboard displaying the total distance, tagging @FirstCoastYMCA or @TampaYMCA, and using #TreadmillTuesday. The total distance and number of participants for the First Coast YMCA, who joined the competition via social media or at a First Coast Y branch, are listed below.

2016 Treadmill Tuesday Results: Jacksonville Participants Mileage
Arlington 80 132.52
Bank of America Tower 49 123.58
Barco-Newton 168 430.36
Brooks 104 225.99
Dye Clay 140 263.50
Flagler 80 190.99
Florida Blue 64 149.22
Johnson 138 381.76
McArthur 186 301.63
Ponte Vedra 170 370.79
UF Health 24 56.95
St. Augustine 128 237.28
Williams 189 389.51
Yates 188 457.14
Social Media 41 101.54
Total 1749 3812.76


– More than 3,400 Floridians log 7,449 miles in event to encourage healthier lifestyles – JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2016 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is pleased to announce its win in the Treadmill Tuesday Challenge, a competition with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. Nearly 1,750 First Coast residents completed 3,813 miles during the 12-hour event, surpassing the Tampa Bay by 177 miles. For the Tampa Bay area, 1,686 residents logged 3,636 miles. Together, the First Coast YMCA and Tampa YMCA leveraged a friendly competition to inspire community members to become more physically active and adopt healthier lifestyles. “Treadmill Tuesday is another way for us to promote the importance of getting 30 minutes of activity or exercise each day, it’s about building a healthy community,” said Eric Mann, president and CEO of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “This year’s competition with our friends in Tampa made the event even more exciting…


January 29, 2016

Healthy Moms: Sneaking 30 Minutes of Exercise into Your Busy Day

Becoming a mom changes your priorities – suddenly the needs of your children come first, and your exercise routine moves to the bottom of the ever-growing to-do list. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your personal fitness needs are met, as well as the needs of your family.

Daily exercise is important to promote good health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, five days per week. In addition to promoting your overall health, a regular workout can provide you with more energy and reduced stress.

Physical activity is also an opportunity to spend time with family. You don’t have to choose between being a mom and being healthy, you can be a healthy mom! Here are a few tips for incorporating exercise into your family’s daily routine.

2012-03-24_KSCY-1896_rgbWorking out doesn’t always mean you have to leave your kids at home. Family bike rides or after-dinner walks are easy ways to gradually establish a family workout routine. Jacksonville offers a number of bike and walking trails for hours of family fun in the great outdoors. If you prefer indoor activities, all Y locations offer a safe and fun environment for the whole family, from teenagers to toddlers.

Enjoy family gymnastics and dance classes at your neighborhood Y for an entertaining and enjoyable experience. Or take advantage of the Y’s KidZone—a place where kids can play while you get your workout. The newly renovated Flagler Y also added an area specifically designed for older kids to play basketball, foosball, Xbox and more.

You may be surprised by how much exercise you get by chasing your toddler around on the playground. The increased popularity of personal trackers, such as the Fitbit, has made measuring your activity levels easier than ever. Keep in mind, the suggested 30 minutes of exercise does not have to be completed at one time, but rather, can be split into several segments throughout the day.

To help you squeeze workouts into your family schedule and track your fitness goals, you can now sync your Fitbit to My Y On Demand—the Y’s first ever virtual membership that provides you access to workout videos, personalized meal plans, wellness challenges, and group exercise meet-ups.

If you prefer a more traditional method, every Y branch offers personal trainers who can work with you to customize your exercise. From creating a fitness plan for a beginner to more in-depth training for a seasoned veteran, they are dedicated to bringing you one step closer to your goals.

Being a healthy mom is about making exercise work for you and your kids! By incorporating a few or all of the tips above, 2016 can be the year of a healthier, happier family.

Becoming a mom changes your priorities – suddenly the needs of your children come first, and your exercise routine moves to the bottom of the ever-growing to-do list. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your personal fitness needs are met, as well as the needs of your family. Daily exercise is important to promote good health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, five days per week. In addition to promoting your overall health, a regular workout can provide you with more energy and reduced stress. Physical activity is also an opportunity to spend time with family. You don’t have to choose between being a mom and being healthy, you can be a healthy mom! Here are a few tips for incorporating exercise into your family’s daily routine. Working out doesn’t always mean you have to leave your kids at home. Family bike rides or after-dinner walks are easy ways to…


January 4, 2016

Fitness Trends for 2016

Did you catch us on WJXT4 The Local Station last week when we discussed Fitness Trends of 2016? From family workouts to exercising outside and new Barre classes, there’s something for everyone at the Y to try in the New Year!

Did you catch us on WJXT4 The Local Station last week when we discussed Fitness Trends of 2016? From family workouts to exercising outside and new Barre classes, there’s something for everyone at the Y to try in the New Year!


December 27, 2015

“I Hated Working Out!”

HOW PERSONAL TRAINING TURNED ONE WOMAN’S LACK OF MOTIVATION INTO A WELLNESS TRANSFORMATION

Tim Burrows | Director of Healthy Living Innovations: Impact & Achievement

We know we could all use a little encouragement, motivation and support to stay focused on our goals. At the Flagler Center YMCA, we know how important a support system can be, and we are here to help you every step of the way. A great way to get started is with 1-on-1 Personal Training (PT)! Working out with a Certified Personal Trainer at any First Coast YMCA is a great way to keep you accountable, healthy and motivated. PT is for everyone regardless of age or fitness level.

For Rebeca Aguilera, a member at the Brooks Family YMCA, teaming up with a personal trainer was transformational, especially since she admits that she hated working out. Her initial goal was to reduce body fat, lower her high blood pressure and lose 20 pounds. But Rebeca’s trainer helped her exceed expectations.

“When I saw the difference of how well I felt and looked…I kept progressing until I got to 35 pounds. I hated going to the gym so I really wasn’t going to push myself at all but he continued to push me because he knew I could do better. So now when I work out by myself I always hear him in the back of my heading saying, ‘You can do it. Go. Go. Go.’ It’s great motivation.”

According to the American Council on Exercise, these are the top five reasons to hire a personal trainer:

  1. Motivation– Personal trainers wear many hats, serving not only as coach, but as an educator, confidant, role model and a major source of motivation and encouragement as well.
  2. Consistency– Scheduling regular appointments with a personal trainer helps eliminate any excuses you might come up with for not exercising.
  3. Safety– A personal trainer will show you how to exercise safely (including which exercises to avoid) and instruct you on the proper and safe use of exercise equipment.
  4. Individualized Instruction– What works for one person, may not work for another when it comes to choosing an exercise program. A personal trainer will develop the most effective program for you based on your fitness evaluation results and personal goals. Beginners in particular benefit from instruction on how to perform specific exercises and program planning.
  5. Effective Workouts– Personal trainers help maximize your time by providing workouts designed to meet your goals quickly and efficiently.

At the Y, we want to support you in your endeavors to achieve both your short and long term goals by connecting you with the resources and tools to do so. Click here to learn more about all of our wellness programs and services. Join the Y in January and save up to $500 with our Better You bonus that includes No Joining Fee, $100 credit for programs and services, 8-Week Weight Loss Support program and more!

HOW PERSONAL TRAINING TURNED ONE WOMAN’S LACK OF MOTIVATION INTO A WELLNESS TRANSFORMATION Tim Burrows | Director of Healthy Living Innovations: Impact & Achievement We know we could all use a little encouragement, motivation and support to stay focused on our goals. At the Flagler Center YMCA, we know how important a support system can be, and we are here to help you every step of the way. A great way to get started is with 1-on-1 Personal Training (PT)! Working out with a Certified Personal Trainer at any First Coast YMCA is a great way to keep you accountable, healthy and motivated. PT is for everyone regardless of age or fitness level. For Rebeca Aguilera, a member at the Brooks Family YMCA, teaming up with a personal trainer was transformational, especially since she admits that she hated working out. Her initial goal was to reduce body fat, lower her high blood pressure and lose 20…


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