By Sarah Shriver
As much as we’d like to believe that cake and ice cream are secrets to a long and healthy life, we know that’s just a fantasy.
The reality is regular exercise and social interaction are MAIN ingredients to a longer and healthier life.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week – Unfortunately less than half of all Americans do. We tend to make all kinds of excuses for not getting in motion, but there’s a pretty persuasive list of reasons why we should exercise and for that matter, join a community of people dedicated to your quality of life.
A gym membership encourages balanced work out programs that includes cardiovascular and strength training exercises. These are known to improve heart health and weight loss; they also help prevent bone weakening and improve balance, flexibility and muscle strength.
Support and Motivation
If you are one of the many people who find exercise to be a detested task, being surrounded by other people who are in the same boat provides the motivation you may need to make exercise part of your regular routine. With support of new friends and old friends alike with a similar goal, going to the gym isn’t such a chore. Your initial intention might be to drag yourself to the gym twice a week, but once you and your support group get into a rhythm you will likely end up helping each other to reach attainable goals.
Research has shown time and time again that almost any form of exercise can be a stress reducer. Physical activity boosts endorphins, which make us feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise lessens tensions in the body and the mind, which can improve your mood and sleep quality. For many people, the gym becomes a refuge to forget all of the stresses of life.
Sample the Variety
One advantage of going to a gym over working out at home is the wide variety of equipment. You have the opportunity to try new exercise equipment and mix up your routine. If you do the same workout every day, your body builds muscle memory and the gains you make are decreased. Experts say that finding different ways to work out the same muscle groups can improve the quality of your workout.
Many people find exercise classes to be the most effective and fun way to get a full body workout. You can do everything from Aqua Aerobics (where there’s a pool), Zumba, kickboxing yoga, spin classes, and so many others. There’s usually a very energetic leader to help provide you with some extra energy and motivation. Classes of all skill levels are usually offered in a judgment free atmosphere.
Why join the Y?
Because the Y is so much more! Beyond the gym itself, the Y holds charity events and offers community outreach programs. When you join the Y you are part of something bigger.
We are more than just a place to work out or swim. The Y has educational youth programs, wellness classes, arts education and so much more. We get to know you and build relationships!
Wellness is about being well across all aspects of your life. No matter your age, background, gender or socioeconomic status, we all have a basic need to be acknowledged and accepted by others. The Y encourages an environment based on the principles of caring, honesty, respect, faith and responsibility. What makes the Y a unique organization to be a part of is it exposes people of all ages, shapes, sizes to so much more than just routine exercise.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned athlete or if you’ve never exercised before. The Y will help make you well in spirit, mind and body. Join the Y and begin the transformation to a well-balanced, healthier you.
What else makes the Y different? No joining or contracts; our My Y Pricing program that helps to make the Y available for all; Refer a friend to join the Y and you’ll get one month free; Drop-in child care at many locations while you work out; after school programs and summer camps; swimming lessons, pool fun, organized sports for all ages and skill levels, and so much more!
Morrison Family YMCA
9405 Bryant Farms Rd,
Charlotte, NC 28277