Many of us have joined a gym and not taken advantage of the membership we paid for, and we are left feeling frustrated at wasted money and unmet fitness goals. The problem may be that a regular gym doesn’t provide all the resources necessary for a family to successfully meet their fitness needs. Instead of joining a gym, joining your local YMCA as a family can help you create a healthier lifestyle. If you are thinking of joining the YMCA or are already a member, here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your valuable membership.
Ready to Get Fit 2015? Throughout the next few months we’ll be posting regularly about fitness and nutrition. All of us here at Daily Mom will be right alongside you, taking steps to be healthier and offering each other encouragement. Be sure you keep up with our initiative for some great tips, recipes, ideas, activewear fashion, family fun activities, and inspiration on getting fit and being healthy. And remember–this is Daily Mom so we understand the responsibilities that come with having children and families as top priorities. We are here to help each other incorporate fitness and healthy choices into our everyday life.
1. Leave Insecurity at the Door
There are no perfect people at the YMCA. It is a safe place where people of all fitness levels, ages and body types can come as they are with the goal of improving their well being. So whether you want to walk on a treadmill alone, lift weights with a trainer or shake your booty in a Zumba class, just be confident in yourself for taking the steps toward getting fit and know that everyone is just trying to take those same steps too.
2. Set a Schedule and Stick to it
Decide what kind of exercise you get the most out of, pick the days and times that you can commit to be at the YMCA and commit! If you aren’t sure what you want to do, try different classes and give the circuit machines a whirl. If your local YMCA uses it, there is a great YMCA app that makes class descriptions and schedules very accessible. Be realistic and pick a number of workouts that you know you can fit into your family’s schedule. Sticking to a workout schedule will keep you walking into the YMCA every week, assuring that you get the exercise you need and that you are not wasting money on a membership you don’t use regularly.
3. Take Advantage of the Childcare
Your YMCA family membership includes access to childcare. Wonderful YMCA employees are ready and waiting to play with your kiddos at no extra charge so you can work out. Your kids will have a great time in a safe, enriching environment while you clear your head and exercise. Sweat away the stressors of parenting then pick up your happy kids as a healthier, more peaceful parent.
4. Get the Whole Family Involved
Your entire family will benefit from the improved lifestyle a YMCA membership offers. Get your partner and kids involved. Encourage your significant other by helping set aside time for both of you to work out. Make exercise a priority in your relationship. When your kids see you get serious about exercise, they will want to get active too. Unlike regular gyms, the YMCA has tons of programs for kids to take advantage of. They can join team sports, go to the YMCA camp or after school program, or do age appropriate work outs in group exercise classes just for kids. Making exercise at the YMCA a part of your family life can lead to your family making healthier choices all the time.
5. Have Fun
The YMCA is different from other gyms because it is so family friendly and offers such a nice variety of activities. Working out shouldn’t be a chore. If you make it fun, you will find yourself at the YMCA using your membership more and more. Make one of your weekly exercise classes a time you spend with a friend. After a good work out, pick the kids up from the childcare center and take them to play in the pool. Come back for an evening swim and pick up a pizza and a salad for a poolside party on a Friday night. If the YMCA is fun for you and your family, you will want to be there!
Time at the YMCA will lead to a healthier you and can lay a foundation of healthy living for your entire family as long as you do your best to utilize all the resources that come with your valuable membership.
Photo Credit: Kristen