News - Page 7 of 10 - YMCA of Southwestern Indiana

2018 November Scripture of the Month

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33

YMCA and St. Vincent Announce Partnership with New Downtown Building

The YMCA of Southwestern Indiana and St. Vincent announced a new level to their ongoing partnership today. St. Vincent will lease approximately 10,000 square feet of the new Downtown YMCA building, which is set for completion in August 2019.

The two organizations have previously partnered on multiple programs focused on chronic disease management and overall well-being such as the LiveSTRONG at the YMCA program. The LiveSTRONG program addresses the health and well-being for cancer survivors by providing support and guidance to help rebuild and gain strength. The program has helped nearly 60 people in the community since it began in 2016.

This partnership will give the growing downtown Evansville market more convenient access to St. Vincent primary care and outpatient physical therapy services and complement St. Vincent’s community-wide network of locations.

“St. Vincent is proud to partner with such a strong and important community organization as the YMCA,” said Dan Parod, President, St. Vincent Southwest Indiana. “We believe having a health care and wellness facility under one roof will provide access to programs and services designed to help improve the overall health of our patients, YMCA members and the entire community.”

This new space that will be occupied by St. Vincent will be in addition to previously released plans for the building. The YMCA will maintain all of the wellness amenities previously reported including a pool, multiple gyms, wellness area, multiple group exercise rooms, STEM Lab, Teaching Kitchen, expanded Child Watch and Youth Activity areas, and a dedicated Enrichment Center.

“Both the YMCA and St. Vincent have a long history of supporting people from all walks of life to live better and lift up one another for a healthier community. This is a wonderful example of two strong faith-based organizations coming together to better the community through wellness,” said Jim Sandgren, Current St. Vincent Evansville Board Chair and Past YMCA Board President.

Funding for the building project has multiple sources including a grant from the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, new market tax credits, and a multi-million-dollar capital campaign. In addition to the leased space, St. Vincent has made the lead gift to the YMCA’s capital campaign. In recognition of this gift, the new building will be named the St. Vincent Evansville YMCA.

YMCA of Southwestern Indiana CEO, Derrick Stewart states, “We are grateful that St. Vincent understands the impact of the YMCA and is willing to make a significant investment in achieving our vision for a new facility and we are honored to name the branch in recognition of their support.”

7 Keys to Back to School Fitness

Summer draws to a close and school is right around the corner for many children and parents. In one sense, it’s a relief.

But we all know it’s not that easy. With the school year comes the added stress of homework, extracurricular activities, waking up early, and carpooling. I’m cringing as I type.

As a mom, it’s hard enough to keep up with exercise without all the added stress thrown in. Here are eight ways to maintain your fitness and your sanity throughout the craziness of back-to-school season.

1. Manage Your Stress

Doing an activity every day, just for the sake of enjoyment, is one of the best ways to minimize stress. Before the school year starts, sit down and make a list of ten activities you enjoy. Don’t put too much thought into it; just let the thoughts come. Here’s an example list:

  1. Hiking
  2. Reading a novel
  3. Working in the garden
  4. Doing yoga
  5. Writing poetry
  6. Dancing
  7. Playing piano
  8. Knitting
  9. Baking
  10. Taking a hot bath with essential oils and magnesium salts

Every day, do at least one of these things for a minimum of thirty minutes. If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t have time for that,” take a step back and think about what this means. If you don’t have thirty minutes a day to do something you enjoy, you need to re-think your life.

2. Eat Food You Like

A healthy diet won’t be sustainable if you don’t enjoy the food you eat. During this busy time of year, it can become even easier to slip into bad eating patterns. If your healthy food is also food you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to eat it.There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods out there, so don’t settle for bland and boring just because it’s good for you.

3. Play With Your Kids

It shouldn’t be hard to play with your kids, but sometimes it can be difficult to go from get-things-done mode to play mode. Challenge yourself to make that transition once a day. Losing yourself in play and forgetting about all the things that need to be done will go a long way in easing anxieties and worries you might have.

Physical play presents some opportunities to get in a few exercises with your kids as well. For example, create obstacle courses that involve movements like crawling, carrying, balancing, and hanging. When your kids get home from school, run the course with them a few times to get in play time and a short workout as a bonus.

4. Move Some Weight

Resistance training is your friend so get lifting. That can mean anything – bodyweight exercise, kettlebells, or Olympic lifts. Not only is moving weight around regularly good for your health – bone and joint health in particular – but it also relieves stress. It doesn’t have to be complicated and require a lot of equipment, either. Bodyweight exercises like pull upsmuscle upsdips, and pistols are challenging and fun to progress as well.


8 Keys to Back-to-School Fitness Success - Fitness, family fitness, family, parenting

5. Walk Every Day

Walking is an easy activity to do every day. Walking helps balance the pelvis and relieve stress. It’s also something you can do anywhere, with or without your children. Aim to walk briskly for at least thirty minutes every day.

6. Sleep Whenever Possible

If you’re a parent, particularly one with young children at home, sleep needs to be a priority. If possible, take naps during the day with your younger children. Go to bed at least eight hours before you need to wake up. That way, even if your kids keep you up for two hours at night, you’ll still get in a minimum of six hours of sleep.

8 Keys to Back-to-School Fitness Success - Fitness, family fitness, family, parenting

7. Set Goals and Reward Yourself

During hectic times, having small-scale goals that fit into a big-picture scheme is a helpful way to make sure you accomplish the things that are most important to you. This applies to all aspects of life.

And don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve your goals. When your children work hard to make progress, you reward them, right? The same should apply to you.



Remember, don’t let Facebook status updates and viral photos of perfect bodies fool you. Taking care of kids and keeping up with exercise is not always easy or glamorous. There will be days when the last thing you want to do is pick up something heavy because you’ve been dragging around kids all day.

The key is to remember fitness isn’t just about fitness. There are other aspects at play that are just as important – if not more important – than grinding it out in the gym. So when the going gets tough and you find yourself grimacing at the thought of exercise, think outside the box and evaluate other lifestyle factors first.

Source: Nicole Crawford,

Safety Tips for the Summer

The Y is more than a place to preserve your health. At the Y, you can focus on safety with your family whether that’s enrolling your kids in our newly reformatted swim lessons, taking First Aid or CPR training, learning Babysitting 101, or protecting from injury with a wellness orientation.
Summer is a season full of fun, but it can also create added danger along the way. Be safe this summer with these quick tips:
  • Teach your kids water safety around pools and lakes (or enroll them in swim lessons at the Y and we’ll teach them how to be safe)
  • Keep valuables out of sight and locked up tight (like in a locker, glove box, or car trunk) when shopping, watching your kids at the ball fields, or even exercising at the Y
  • Drink plenty of water because the more you sweat the faster dehydration can creep up on you
  • Protect yourself from the sun with plenty of sunscreen, hats, visors, or umbrellas when working in the yard or watching your kiddos play outside

Conquering Cancer…Then a Canyon

The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is a free community program for cancer survivors that focuses on the whole person – not the disease – by providing support and guidance to help rebuild and gain strength. We recently received this empowering message from one of our participants:

I want to share my great excitement with all of you. My son and I just got back from a 7 day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, and I was able to do most of the hikes, one of which was an hour long major stair-stepper hike up the side of the canyon. I was so full of emotion, gratefulness, and LIFE at the top of that hike that I broke into tears (of joy of course). It was simply soooo amazing! Didn’t matter that I was the next to the last person to the top. I really made it. Praise to God!

In this picture, Jordan and I are near the top of our hike. If you zoom in over my left shoulder, you can see our two blue rafting boats and camp, which is the beginning point from which we hiked.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA helps cancer survivors regain strength and spirit.
Many, many thanks to LIVESTRONG, fellow Survivors & Thrivers, Sally, Dusty & Denise, and of course the YMCA for caring enough to invest in our health and recovery from Cancer, all the encouragement & prayers, and making this possible for me!

-LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Participant

Summer Screen Time: How Much Is Too Much?

Summertime means more free time for youth. Without the school day to occupy them, many children and teens find themselves entertained by TV, websites and digital devices.  While these devices can be comforting on a rainy day or a necessary means of decompressing, many parents and caregivers may wonder: How is screen time affecting the health and development of the youth in our lives?

The answer is in the research:

  • By the time children turn 10 years old, every additional hour of television they watched as toddlers is associated with lower math and school achievement, reduced physical activity and victimization by classmates in middle childhood (JAMA Pediatrics).
  • For every hour of television children watch, they are 8 percent less likely to eat fruit every day, 18 percent more likely to eat candy and 16 percent more likely to eat fast food (Time).

Meeting the needs of human connection and holistic support are key to the healthy development of all youth—and there’s a real concern by many youth development specialists that screen time may be replacing those critical moments in a child’s life.

So, how much summer screen time is too much?

According to the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards, caregivers should eliminate screen time for children under two years of age. For children over two, screen time should be limited to less than 30 minutes per day for children in half-day programs and less than one hour per day for children in full-day programs.

Here are some helpful strategies to help families limit screen time with youth:

  • Connect interactive lessons to popular media to engage youth without the screen. Make apps, games and shows come alive through building, sculpting and acting. For example, learn about the culture, community and population depicted in a popular show. Explore commonly eaten foods, popular physical activities, climate and so on.
  • Start screen-free weeks and use the time to help kids explore new interests outside of media consumption.
  • Introduce new clubs or activities that children help plan, lead and organize. Involvement increases personal investment, peer engagement and leadership opportunities.

4 Healthy Habits to Start Right Now

Learning how to eat right, manage a social life, get workouts done and work a full day seems impossible sometimes. It can be so tempting to attend every fancy event and happy hour, but it’s also important to take care of yourself. Let’s discuss some habits to set you up for success.

1: Get Good at Eating Vegetables

If there’s one habit you should start young and never stop, it’s eating vegetables. So basic, so simple, but it’s the truth. Vegetables are full of nutrients, high in fiber and low in calories. To eat a healthy diet, vegetables must be part of your daily routine.

First, take notice of how many vegetables you’re eating. Look at your fist and figure out how many fists of vegetables you eat a day. Slowly start adding more, reaching a goal of 6-10 per day.

Consider the following strategies:

  • Bring veggies with you everywhere you go. Chopped carrots, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes are great on the go.
  • Always order vegetables when you’re out. It doesn’t have to be a salad, but it could be a side of veggies, or swapping some of your starch for a veggie.
  • Keep a bag of greens in your fridge at all times. Throw them in soups or over eggs, or use them as a side for dinner, or a base of a meal. Eat raw, sautéed, steamed or microwaved. Greens go with everything and are so easy to incorporate into your routine. Frozen greens work, too.
  • Use fat, spice and acid to make it taste better. Add oils, butter, cheese, any spice you like, vinegars, lemon or lime to get more vegetables into your routine. Over time, you may notice you don’t need as much added flavor, but do what you’ve got to do.

2: Splurge — in Moderation

Sugar, fried food and alcohol aren’t going away. Quite frankly, they shouldn’t, as splurges are a wonderful and tasty part of life. When you jump into the working world, you may notice how many treats and cocktails effortlessly enter your daily routine. Work meetings, networking opportunities and social events add up. You might go “all or nothing” with this and have weeks or months where you’re drinking and eating an excessive amount, and then challenge yourself to weeks or months of no sugar or alcohol. Although this can sometimes be successful in the short term, it’s exhausting and likely not going to set you up for long-term success. A smarter move is to accept that these foods are in your world, and be strategic about it.

  • If you’re going to a party, eat a balanced meal before you go, so you don’t walk into a splurge-filled situation with a ravenous stomach.
  • Set a rule before you go. Give yourself a number of  treats you’re going to allow yourself before the event starts. Walk in with a plan to keep you focused.
  • Brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth midday at work, it may be easier to say no to the treats at the office.
  • There are scenarios that insist you take the birthday cake, the glass of punch or other splurge. You don’t have to eat it all. You can have a bite or a sip, or even two, and then set the plate or glass down with no one noticing.

3: Put Yourself First

This seems strange, but putting yourself first is a skill, a worthy one that takes practice and time to make it a habit. There are countless moments throughout the day when you can decide to put your goals of a healthy lifestyle over following the pack. For example, take the stairs, even if your friends take the elevator. Be the one at work who goes to the gym at lunch hour, even if it’s for a quick 20- to 30-minute workout. Be the one at the office who has vegetables for an afternoon snack, rather than a cookie. Your health has to be the priority. Unfortunately, if you just go with the flow, you’ll likely eat too much and not move enough. It requires effort to put a healthy lifestyle before anything else. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, but little changes make all the difference.

  • Have a water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated.
  • Do 10 to 20 push-ups and squats in the morning and/or evening if you can’t get longer workouts in your schedule.
  • Pack the week’s veggie snacks on Sunday nights.
  • When everyone is ordering a heavier meal, instead find a vegetable-rich salad, a veggie side or consider ordering a meal with the dressing, sauce, cheese or fried stuff on the side. That way you can manage your decisions and create a plate that works for you.
  • Find a workout that’s convenient to you so it fits with your lifestyle.
  • Turn off the TV/computer/screens at a certain time so you go to bed at a reasonable hour.

4: Say No

If you say yes to every social offer that comes your way, and every splurge food that’s put in front of you, you won’t feel so well after a year in the “real world.” Realize the power of saying no. You can do it with a smile on your face and still be a team player. If it’s someone’s birthday party, you can sing and celebrate without eating a gigantic piece of cake. You could take a small piece, or have a bite, or simply smile and say “no thank you.”

  • When your co-worker wants to take an afternoon walk for a mocha and a cookie, you can join and simply have coffee or tea. If you want something sweet, consider sharing the cookie rather than each buying your own. Ask your co-worker how he’s doing and enjoy the conversation. There’s no need to have a calorie-filled afternoon snack just because your co-worker wants to.
  • Smile as you say no. Practice right now: Smile and say no aloud. Avoid judging, saying “ew” or making someone else feel bad for ordering something not in line with your values. Smile first, say “no thank you,” and move on.

Pay attention during this exciting time in your life. Have fun! But take time daily, or hourly, to be sure you’re also prioritizing your health. You can thank yourself later.

Source: Jae Berman, The Washington Post. 6/14/17.