Give the gift of good health

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Millions of Americans, including children, are facing significant barriers to getting and staying healthy and active. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates obesity in childhood and adolescence substantially increases future risk of heart disease and suggests the serious consequences of our nation’s obesity epidemic are yet to come.

In response to this epidemic, the Suffolk Family YMCA is working to help communities, families, and individuals make healthier choices that support behavior change. Programs at the YMCA are addressing health and well being for children and parents, providing members both physical activity and nutritional education.

At the Suffolk YMCA, we continue to promote our Y-Change program as a solution to working towards a healthier lifestyle. Y-Change is a free program for members who are ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle and excel with the support of their peers. Designed to help you meet your personal fitness goals, this program will help you learn about good habits, partake in regular exercise and benefit from the fellowship offered through this group setting. Y-Change participants talk about how they’ve lost inches, dropped a pants size or two, learned to cook new things for themselves and their families or simply have increased energy that makes them feel happy, healthy, and younger.

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The YMCA staff is committed to helping adults and youth overcome the barriers that are preventing them from leading healthier, more active lives and would like to do the same for you this holiday season.

The holidays are a perfect time to join with friends and family in making a commitment to a healthier way of living. Giving the gift of health can make a lifetime difference in the way children grow into healthy adults — helping them to enjoy an active and balanced lifestyle before the consequences of obesity become irreversible.

Through Nov. 30, all new members will receive half off the joining fee, a savings of up to $37.50. We invite you to take a tour of the facility and see how you can start taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle today.

Are you already a member of the YMCA? Through Nov. 30, current members can earn up to $82 in membership fees each time they recruit a new friend to the YMCA. Sign up two friends, and earn up to $164.

We also have gift cards available this holiday season. YMCA gift cards are an ideal way to give the gift of health to friends and family or coworkers. Cards can be purchased for any value desired and can be used at any YMCA of South Hampton Roads location or specialty facility. What better way to encourage a healthy lifestyle for those you love?