YMCA programs focus on healthy lifestyles

Published 8:28 am Friday, January 29, 2010

FRANKLIN—The James L Camp Jr. YMCA, which merged with the regional YMCA of South Hampton Roads in July, is reaping more benefits than just new gym equipment.

A program called Y Change also is being implemented.

The six-week program, which is run by Roger Lee II, the director of sports and recreation, is made up of three sessions a week for participants.

The first is an educational session. Two additional sessions are for exercise. Participants also keep a journal of their food and activities.

“The program helps participants and gets them into the healthy habit of doing exercise,” said Executive Director Kathy Roberts.

Participants, who also get a Y-Change T-shirt, set goals, assess their body weight and measurements and learn to use a calorie counter. They also learn about serving sizes, healthful food choices and using the food pyramid, reading food labels and making better decisions at the grocery store.

Graduates can move on to the Y-Change II sessions.

The Live Healthy Franklin-Southampton “100 Day Wellness Challenge” also kicked off Jan. 14.

So far, more than 50 people have signed up for the program, which is still open for registration until Monday.

The wellness challenge is part of a nationwide program called Live Healthy America.

The program’s goal is to promote positive changes leading to a healthier lifestyle using a team-centric physical activity, weight loss and nutrition program.

Lee told The Tidewater News in an earlier story that working with a team environment is beneficial to people trying to lose weight, at any age.

“Everything always starts off good,” he said, until muscles start to ache or time constraints start eating into exercise time.

“With anything in life, there are going to be hurdles involved,” Lee said. “A friend can keep them on track.”

The challenge will last until April 23. Participants will form teams, consisting of two to 10 people, that will track physical activity and/or weight loss weekly at the Live Healthy America Web site. Participants will record their progress once a week.

The program requires a $20 registration fee for each participant, and the fee includes a T-shirt, a one-year subscription to a lifestyle magazine, unlimited access to a variety of online resources, weekly e-mails with physical activity, nutrition and recipe tips and a personal tracking page.

People interested in the program should visit www.livehealthyamerica.org. The Group Registration ID for the Franklin-Southampton group is LHFS. Anyone with questions can contact Live Healthy America at (888) 282-0822 or info@livehealthyamerica.org.

Locally, the program is sponsored by the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Southampton Memorial Hospital and the YMCA.