Out with the old (habits) and in with the new


GREENVILLE — The start of the new year is a great time to look at all your current habits, and the YMCA of Darke County is the perfect partner for making positive changes.

“We’re more than just a swim and a gym,” said CEO Sam Casalano. “We’re a community that wants to help you and your family live your best lives. Joining the YMCA is a great way to invest in your physical and mental health. You’ll meet new people, make friends, and feel better about yourself.”

In the meantime, Casalano offers advice on some habits you can start today to make sure your 2024 is off to a great start!

Healthy New Habits

1. Stop hitting snooze. Snooze, sleep, repeat. Studies have shown that the fight against getting out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off has a negative effect on your health. Instead of reaching for that snooze button, let’s make it a habit to get up and get a productive start to your day.

Y Tip: Try placing your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room before you go to bed at night. You will physically have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm, meaning you are already in an upright position once you turn that pesky alarm off. Plus, putting a pause on snooze gives you more time to enjoy a longer morning routine, which could consist of healthy habits like exercise or mindfulness activities. This could even make extra time for an early morning sweat session at the Y!

2. Skip the sugar. We get it – that caffeinated soft drink or large sugar-filled latte sure sounds like a good pick me up when the mid-afternoon slump rolls around. However, cutting out these sweet treats and replacing them with water can do wonders for your daily sugar and calorie intake. When this happens, you lower your chances of weight gain and other issues like high blood pressure. Take the plunge and swap those sugary beverages for water.

Y Tip: Try adding fruit to your water if you’re missing the sweetness of sugary drinks. It will add a hint of flavor without any added sugar. Strawberries, lemons and cucumbers are some examples of fun additions to make your water more flavorful. Get creative!

3. Find a new retreat. Social media, TV, and video games can feel like a quick escape, but often they just pull us deeper into the chaos we’re trying to avoid.

Y Tip: Dive into a refreshing pool and wash away stress with every stroke; get invigorated and empowered in our fitness center; join friends for tennis or pickleball in a safe space away from all the distractions. The Y isn’t just about physical activity; it’s about reclaiming your energy and focus, so you can leave feeling fully charged and ready to tackle the rest of your life with renewed clarity and purpose.

3. Find new moves. If you are starting to dread your workouts, then maybe it’s time to switch them up. Getting stuck in a workout rut can possibly lead you to plateauing or quitting your routine all together. If you’re starting to roll your eyes at the thought of lacing up your sneakers, we encourage you to try a new group exercise class or workout format than what you’re used to.

Y Tip: The YMCA of Darke County has a wide variety of group exercise classes to meet your needs. From no-impact aquatic and yoga for all abilities, to hardcore strength and cardio challenges, check out our group exercise calendar or meet with one of our certified staff to explore your options. Go with a format you’ve never tried before or that you’re not familiar with – you just may find your new favorite and reignite your passion for exercise!

4. No nightly scrolling. It may be one of the hardest habits to break – lying in bed, the comfort of the blue glow on your face as you scroll mindlessly through the internet. Studies show that looking at your phone before snoozing can have negative effects on your quality of sleep. Since we know sleep is just as important for your health as any other activity, we suggest powering down your device and allowing the sandman to do his job, naturally.

Y Tip: Choose nighttime activities which promote sleep, like practicing meditation or relaxation techniques. You will thank yourself in the morning!

For more information, call the Greenville branch at 937-548-3777 or the Versailles branch at 937-526-4488; or visit us on Facebook or go to www.ymcadarkecounty.org for the latest updates.

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