• Make time not excuses

    There are 1440 minutes in every day –make and take the time to find 30 minutes to improving your health and wellbeing.


    Can’t get to the Y tonight for your favorite class? Before abandoning your workout completely be creative at home and go for a power walk or jog. Mix it up with any of the following exercises that can be done anywhere and require no equipment:

    jumping jacks



    calf raises



    side to side shuffles


    Everything counts as something. Adding activity and exercise to your day will keep you moving closer to your goals.

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  • Wellness Tip Wednesday

    Drink water throughout the day to be sure you are hydrated enough to give you the fuel and energy you need to be at your best.

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  • It’s a Play Date

    Healthy Kids Day 4/28/12It’s a Play Date: The Capital District YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day™ Gets Families Moving Through Play

    Capital District Region ― Saturday, April 28, the Capital District YMCA will encourage kids and parents to visit the Y for a play date, and commit to being active every day. It’s all part of the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day™ ― the nation’s largest health day for families.

    This free event offers a variety of activities from obstacle course fun at to playing Wii Sports.

    As a leading non-profit strengthening community through healthy living, the Y offers Healthy Kids Day to teach healthy habits to kids and help inspire a life-time love of physical activity. At a time when one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), developing healthier habits that include increased physical activity is more important now than ever.

    “We know parents struggle to find time to incorporate more active play and healthier habits into their kids’ daily routine,” notes Capital District YMCA President and CEO David Brown. “Doing so doesn’t have to require extra money or resources. It’s as simple as making a play date with your kids, with two key requirements – be active and have fun!” 

    As part of Healthy Kids Day, the Y encourages families to make play dates as a simple way to become healthier, more active and connected. The Capital District YMCA recommends five simple activities families can do to together:

    1.   Schedule a Game Night: Play games with your kids that incorporate physical activity,

    such as Charades.

    2.   Dance, Dance: Turn on your favorite party music and dance! Make this activity more fun

    with a dance contest.

    3.   Go Riding: Find a new bike path or park for a fun afternoon outdoors; grab your helmets

    and go rollerblading or bike riding. 

    4.   Channel Your Inner Youth: Remember playing hopscotch, jump rope, Simon Says or

    freeze tag as a kid? Teach your favorite childhood game to your kid(s) and play them together.

    5.   Play Outside: Visit your neighborhood park or camp out in your backyard for some outdoor fun.

    Get everyone moving with fun sports like soccer, basketball or baseball.


    Visit your local Y for Healthy Kids Day Fun on Saturday April 28, 2012. Visit http://www.cdymca.org/about/eventscalendar.aspx for more information.

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  • Common barriers we face when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle

    No matter how hard we try, we all have days where we intended to work out yet something has come up, and for one reason or another we’ve missed the opportunity for exercise.


    This seems to happen to me a lot lately. After all, life is busy! Many people struggle with the ability to carve out time for a workout when day to day demands seem to take over.


    Here are some of the common factors standing in the way of your active lifestyle. Included are tips on how to help you stay on track with your wellness goals.


    1.Wasted time on the internet: Many of us use ‘surfing the web’ or social media connections as a form of relaxation. Unfortunately, before you know it many hours have passed and time gets away from you. Before you allow yourself to open the lap top, get your exercise in. Another option would be to set time limits for yourself. Allow yourself only a half hour to facebook with friends before you log off and get moving.


    2. Stress: When the kids are sick or you are up against a deadline at work, the demands on your time may seem overwhelming. At these times especially, it is important to take care of yourself. A brisk walk, even a short one, can boost your mood and help with stress and anxiety.


    3. Overtraining: We’ve all done it. If you are new to exercise or starting an exercise program that is new to you,  we will spend day after day in the gym without scheduled rest days. We all think that we are getting more out of the program by staying in the gym. Not true! Rest days can help avoid injuries and should be a vital part of any exercise program, you're body is repairing itself on rest days and preparing you for your next workout.


    4. The unforeseeable event: You thought you were going to go to your favorite zumba class after work however your child’s ride to practice fell through and now you’re the carpool driver. Or someone walks into your office with a concern that you need to address immediately and you’ve missed your 6pm spin class. Sometimes these things are unavoidable. This is the time that your home workout comes into play. Rather than get discouraged that you missed your scheduled class, take a walk or jog around your neighborhood, do some jumping jacks, crunches, push ups at home. Something is better than nothing.


    5. Low self esteem or negative self talk: “I will never be able to keep up with anyone else in the class”, “everyone that works out there is probably already fit”, “even though aqua fitness would be good for me I need to get in shape before I’ll put a bathing suit on in front of anyone”. To this I will say we all start somewhere! The people you see in your body toning class who appear to be fit may not have always looked this way. Not only that, you will be surprised to find that classes have people of all levels of fitness. Our professional instructors give suggestions and options to all skill levels. It is through hard work, commitment  and dedication that they are achieving their fitness goals.


    6. I can’t afford a gym membership: While there are ways to get and stay fit with an at home exercise program, many folks would rather workout in an organized setting but are reluctant to join a gym because of cost OR join the wrong kind of gym because the price is right and then have a bad experience.

    Did you know at the Capital District YMCA we never turn anyone away for inability to pay? Our scholarship program is available to help adults, youth, seniors and families in need come to the YMCA and experience all that the Y has to offer.


    When setting your fitness goals it is important to take your life, schedule and commitments into consideration and then develop a realistic plan that is right for you. 

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  • Wellness Tip Wednesday

    People often skip breakfast thinking that cutting calories will help them lose weight. Research shows that eating breakfast can actually help people control their weight. Our bodies need to be refueled a few times each day. When we skip meals we often feel so hungry by the time we eat we tend to eat more food than normal, which cancels out the calories we cut by skipping breakfast. We may also be tempted to choose foods that are not the healthiest choices when we allow ourselves to get hungry.


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  • Not all workouts happen in the gym.

    Spring has sprung and the yard work has begun for many of us. Weekends are busy and getting to the gym to workout or take your favorite group exercise class may not always fit into your schedule.


    Yesterday I spend the day cleaning my house, not just picking up, but deep cleaning. I then headed outside to rake the back yard and mow the front lawn. I also pruned some of the bushes and moved lawn furniture. The one thing I didn’t do was run. I was planning on running all day but got involved in projects and had a family commitment later in the day so was very pressed for time.


    As I was laying in bed I began to think about how many calories I would have burned on my 10 mile run, probably 900-1000. Then I started thinking about the exercises and activities I did while completing my chores. Many squats bends to reach low shrubs, several calf raises to reach high branches, there was lifting lawn furniture, raking (feeling my back, shoulder and abdominal muscles today), walking while pushing my lawnmower, and dragging the tarp from the back to front yard filled with branches/clippings/leaves. I haven’t even mentioned all the movements involved in cleaning the inside of my house!


    While we all feel great once we’ve gotten our ‘workout’ in, there is also a sense of accomplishment when there is order and balance in our homes.

    So lets compare the 900-1000 calories I would have burned in my run to what calories I did burn:

    *results vary based on individual



    Weeding for 30 minutes burns 115 calories, the same amount you'd burn in 15 minutes of weight training. Weeding tones your thighs and buttocks. 

    Raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 225 calories. The resistance offered by the leaves makes this chore a type of weight training. Raking leaves tones all the major muscle groups in your upper body.

    Mowing the lawn with a push mower burns 187 calories.


    Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories. Removing that stubborn soap scum from your tiles is a great way to tone the muscles of your arms and shoulders.

    Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, the same amount you'd burn in 15 minutes of kick boxing.

    Dusting for 30 minutes burns about 50 calories.


    Approximate total calories burned: 867 

    Not all workouts happen in the gym.

    Happy Spring!!!

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  • What's in your lunch bag?

    Packing a healthy nutritious lunch and snacks will not only ensure you are keeping yourself on track with your healthy choices, it will also help with the temptation of impulse fast food purchasing when the mid day hunger pangs set in.


    My lunches don’t vary much on a day to day basis. Mostly I eat peanut butter and sugar free jelly sandwiches on low fat bread. I choose sugar free jelly because it is a way for me to cut calories without sacrificing taste.


    In the photo below you will see my typical lunch and daily snacks. As you can see there is a lot of food. I do not allow myself to get hungry and binge eat. Instead I pack good, healthy choices and munch on them throughout the day. The lunch in the photo totals about 600 calories, add this to my breakfast of egg whites and low fat toast or cream of wheat and I am at about 700-800 calories before dinner.


    My dinner choice generally includes a salad as my meal with a smaller portion of my “entrée” on the side. I try not to eat after 7pm and if I am hungry I snack on low fat air popped popcorn or pretzels and hummus.


    What meal choices do you make to keep you within your healthy calorie range?


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  • Wellness Tip Wednesday

    Don’t hold your breath when strength training. Always remember to breathe properly, exhale on exertion and inhale on return. 

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  • Be You, Believe In Yourself.

    I have a RoadID bracelet that I wear when I run that has my name and contact information on it. It also says this: Believe & Achieve. I had this inscribed on it because in my opinion, believing in yourself is the first step to success. When I want to cut my run short or my performance is not up to par, I often look down at my wrist, read those two words and tell myself I CAN DO THIS. What motivates you to get or keep moving?

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  • What's in your Easter basket?

    At this time of year we are often tempted with many treats that are high in calories and packed with sugar. I could suggest that you make healthier choices such as dried fruit, graham crackers or mixed nuts however reality is that everyone likes a little treat every once in a while. The key is to keep it in moderation and not to go overboard. Below is a breakdown of calories, fat, carbs and sugar in typical Easter candy to help you choose treats that have the least impact on your healthy diet.




    Fat (g)

    Carbs (g)

    Sugar (g)

    4 Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies





    1 Peeps Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg





    5 Mars Mini Chocolate Eggs





    1 Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny





    1 Cadbury Creme Egg





    12 Cadbury Chocolate Eggs





    1 Dove Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny





    1 Nestle's Crunch Nest Egg





    1 Snickers Cream Sports Egg





    1 Reese's Peanut Butter Egg





    1 Reese's Reester Bunny





    1 Brachs Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg





    9 Brachs Malted Easter Eggs





    35 Jelly Belly Assorted Jellybeans







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