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March 2017 Scripture of the Month

March 3, 2017

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” —  Philippians 4:13

8 Surprising Perks You Get from Exercise

March 2, 2017

We all know it’s good for you, but here are eight more compelling reasons to move your body on a regular basis.

Even if you’ve never experienced the elusive runner’s high, you probably know exercise can make you happier. Scientific research has shown there are countless connections between mind and body; to simplify a complicated process: exercise boosts dopamine and other chemicals in the brain that make us feel happier. What’s more, many kinds of exercise can put us in a wonderful “flow” state, which is one of the hallmarks of well-being, according to positive psychology.

Beyond happy chemicals, though, here are eight more surprising ways exercise makes us happier.

1. Leads to achievements

When we have a goal, we become more engaged with life and excited about the future. Whether it’s jogging your first mile without stopping or exercising three times a week, having a goal initially sparks enthusiasm, and then making progress toward that goal really fuels our commitment and makes us feel good. It may even motivate us to plan and accomplish other goals!

2. Creates “me” time

Picture your exercise time as a mini-retreat for some healthy “me” time. We often think of “me” time as sitting by a fire with a cup of tea or reading a book, but a good sweat session can help you let go of stress, increase your energy and think with clarity. Even on those days when you aren’t in the mood to move, you will always feel better after you exercise, because when you feel fully charged, it’s much easier to be happy.

3. Retains your quality of life as you age

Staying in good cardiovascular shape and using your muscles can help prevent injuries and illness as you age. It also can help you with everyday movements (functional fitness) that involve lifting, carrying, bending and stretching as you get older. Retaining your quality of life is an essential ingredient to your future happiness.

4. Pushes you beyond your normal limits

Whether it’s going to a spin class, signing up for your first 5K or doing yoga for the first time, exercise is an opportunity to challenges yourself—to do something that scares you simply for the sense of exhilaration you’ll feel. When you do something outside your comfort zone, you may just surprise yourself with your abilities and gain an incredible sense of satisfaction and pride.

5. Leads to social connections

Gym memberships, group fitness classes, races, and running groups are all opportunities to connect with others, which is big when it comes to happiness. Be a part of a healthy group of friends and watch your mood soar.

6. Inspires those around you

Let your actions speak for you. Lace up your sneakers, go to the gym or take a long bike ride. Your children will notice. Show your kids that physical activity is something you value and they will value it as well. Plus, you never know who else you might be inspiring, such as a parent or coworker.

7. Builds up your self-confidence

Doing what you set out to do and sticking with it is the fastest way to invest in your self-confidence. Savor the amazing feeling of making exercise a habit, getting stronger or enjoying clothes again. As your muscles grow stronger, so will your self-esteem.

8. Brings out the kid in you

Remember the days of running around outside for hours and coming in smelling of fresh air? Tap into that childhood freedom by finding an exercise that feels more like play, whether it’s a game of pick-up basketball or a joyful Zumba class. Added perk? You will sleep like a baby.


Day Pass Availability at Dunigan Family Y

February 13, 2017

Due to high facility usage, the Dunigan Family Y currently has restricted Day Pass availability through March 31, 2017. Click here for details »

February 2017 Scripture of the Month

February 1, 2017

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” —  Proverbs 3:5-6

Love Your Family with These Heart Health Tips

February 1, 2017

February is American Heart Month, and as a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the Tri-State’s health, the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana offers the following tips to help families be heart healthy.

  1. Get Physical: Being physically active every day is fun and can improve the function of your heart. Plan and schedule opportunities for active play; for example, include a brisk 10-minute trip around the block after meals or a 10-minute walking break during the day. If your family enjoys active video games, select versions that require moving the body’s large muscle groups while playing.
  2. Take a Snooze: Lack of sleep can be associated with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Adults need at least seven, but no more than nine hours of sleep at night to aid with the prevention of heart disease. Children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Develop bedtime routines for the whole family to assist with falling asleep faster and staying asleep.
  3. Shape Up Those Recipes: Makeover your family’s favorite recipes by reducing the amount of salt and saturated fat and substituting a lower fat food without sacrificing tastes. For example, use low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream and skip the seasoning packet and use pepper and olive oil instead. Read food labels to learn more about what is in the package, select foods that have less than 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.
  4. Feeling the Pressure: Per the American Heart Association lowering or maintaining normal blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Nearly 1 in 3 adults (about 80 million people) has high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control. Start self-monitoring your blood pressure and know the numbers. Discuss the results with you doctor if needed.
  5. Play Together: Spending time together as a family is a great way to reduce stress, which is important to heart health. Make homemade valentines for your children’s classmates or build a snow fort together in the yard or the park.

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