Follow TSP on Facebook
Follow TSP on Twitter


Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Y, Do You?

By Katie M

Happy New Year, Smarty Moms. 'Tis the season for New Years Resolutions, and it seems only fitting to blog about getting fit. Exercise is usually a favorite resolution, and either I'm really boring or I'm really disciplined (I'd like to believe the latter) but once again fitness is a top resolution for me.

Now it's not like I resolve to exercise because I haven't over the past year. Actually, as a stay-at-home mom, exercise is my outlet and "my time" and I make a point to get to the gym at least three days a week. Of course there are weeks that don't fit this ideal schedule, and sometimes there are weeks that I actually amaze myself (although those are rare), but I'm pretty tight with my schedule. Perhaps this is because I have - what I consider - the ultimate set up for exercising with children. And that is a membership at the YMCA. Below is information about programs offered at the YMCA (and these are generally the same from city to city) and the YMCA's Childwatch Program.

I know many people who choose to get fit at other gyms, but I have always believed in the YMCA for its incredible facilities, outstanding commitment to families (as evidenced in their daycare and family programs), and the unbelievable opportunities to foster friendships with other moms who Y like me.

First of all, I am a runner and I love to run outside as opposed to the treadmill. After I had my daughter, I was worried about getting back in shape because I thought my days of running outside were over - or I would have to resort to very, very early morning or late night runs - scenarios I have never been a fan of not to mention the inconvenience of both with a new baby. However, the YMCA is one of the few places that will actually let you leave the premise (as long as you bring your cell phone) and don't stray too far (usually within a five-mile radius). And, unlike other gyms, the YMCA lets you bring your baby as young as six-weeks (this may vary from location to location) - another huge bonus especially if you're trying to lose that baby weight.

But if you are not a runner, there are a million other reasons to join the Y, such as access to personal trainers (some are free with your membership); group exercise classes like Spin, Yoga, Sculpting, and Boot Camp among others; FitLinxx, a virtual coach to help you with your weight training goals; Mommy & Me classes for moms with newborns; an entire aquatics center with a swim team, swim lessons, and aqua aerobics; plus other programs such as community outreach, before and after daycare, free childwatch, etc, etc.

The Childwatch program is free to all members and is available to children ages 6 weeks to 11 years of ages. There is a nursery for children up to age 3, and then a bigger play room with a large climbing toy (similar to those found at Chick-fil-A and at Chuck E Cheese) for children ages 5 to 11.

One of the coolest deals at the Y is the Parents' Night Out program. Twice a month, the Childwatch providers will watch your children for four hours in the nursery and Adventure Room and serve dinner (usually pizza) for $10 for one child, $15 for two, and $20 for the entire family. Your children are also able to go swimming (if you give permission) and play on a huge blow up bouncy toy in the gymnasium. It's been great for my husband and I to have this outlet - we have used it to go shopping, do projects around the house, play tennis, go to an early movie or grab and early dinner, and yes - even participate in happy hour every now and then!

The Y also offers members a similar program for Moms Morning Out three days a week.

As a mom writing to other moms, I highly encourage you to check out your local YMCA if you are not already a member at another gym. YMCA of Northwest North Carolina serves Forsyth, Davies, Stokes, Yadkin and Wilkes counties, Winston-Salem's main YMCA (located in the West End) is called Central YMCA, YMCA of Greensboro has several branches, and there is also a YMCA for Greater High Point.

With the support of my local YMCA, keeping my resolution of exercise is never really a challenge, after all. Maybe that's why it's always my resolution, year after year :)

Please share with us your thoughts on the YMCA or other family-friendly gyms in our area - and we'd also love to hear your resolutions for the New Year too!

Enjoy your New Years Day!


Post a Comment