More than ever, families struggle with the basics of getting and staying active. Sedentary lifestyles have become normal and recreation time has shifted to screen time. Most big box gyms don’t allow young children to use the equipment and if you’re a working parent, it can seem impossible to find time to get active without help. That’s where Shayla found herself this year. She had started going back to the gym, but her daughter Jayla wasn’t interested in coming along.
“We were looking for something that we could do together, and that’s when we heard about the Y program,” said Shayla. “I was really interested, because it seemed like the perfect fit for my family, and it included a free membership, which was great.”
Shayla and Jayla signed up to take the new Healthy Weight and Your Child program at the East Shore YMCA where they were introduced to their staff trainer, LeeMarie Fisher. “The program is really valuable for families because sometimes people just need a little help getting started,” she said. “The Healthy Weight and Your Child program is the perfect way to get started, and Shayla and Jayla were ready to go right away. They would try anything!”
The Healthy Weight and Your Child program is designed to help families learn about healthy lifestyles, not just through getting active, but also through nutrition education. A typical program includes activities, games, a fun workout, and a class about food and food choice, and includes both parent and child.
“We went to the grocery store together,” said Shayla. “I had been trying to cut out high fructose corn syrup and had been doing a pretty good job. Then LeeMarie talked us through how to read a label, and my eyes were opened. It’s so important to think about each and every ingredient, and the trip was so helpful.”
For LeeMarie, the experience at Healthy Weight and Your Child was very personal to her. “I have the privilege of working at the Y each day and helping people. It’s important that people know what we offer to the community so they know that there is help, and hope,” she said. “Many times it is as simple as being a friendly face that helps someone to feel less alone. Weight and lifestyle are very personal topics, and the Y is working hard to ensure that everyone has a chance to make positive changes and lead a long, healthy life with their family.”