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YMCA can help keep New Year’s resolutions

MADISON COUNTY – New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle may be more successful with guidance from Heart of the Valley YMCA, particularly Hogan Family YMCA in Madison.

“Many of us join a gym in resolving to get healthier, but that’s just the first step. If you don’t ever darken the door where you bought that membership, it’s not going to do you much good,” YMCA Director of Communications Mary Anne Swanstrom said.

A foolproof guarantee doesn’t exist for keeping a resolution, but Heart of the Valley YMCA does offer several tips to plan for success in 2019, Swanstrom said:

* Start small. — Divide big resolutions into small goals that you can achieve. For example, trade two canned sodas for one glass of water each day.

* Take it one step at a time. — Make lifestyle changes in increments, and do not try to change too many habits at the same time.

* Stay encouraged. — Don’t let setbacks result in overall failure. “Bad habits aren’t created in a week, so be generous to yourself as you commit to creating new, better habits,” Swanstrom said.

* It’s all about attitude. — Focus on what you gain from a resolution instead of what you are missing, like high-calorie snacks.

* Talk it out with a friend to help with accountability. — Schedule specific check-ins during coffee breaks or by text.

“Changing behaviors is a tough task even for the most dedicated and motivated people,” Terri Keller said. Keller works as Health Initiatives Coordinator for Heart of the Valley YMCA. “By creating a success plan that includes a network of supportive people, a healthier change for the better is achievable.”

Through Jan. 31, Heart of the Valley YMCA is offering 25 percent off membership for all of 2019, along with zero charge for joining fees. The new “Young Adult Membership” for 19- to 29-year-olds is $35/month with $35 join fee (also subject to the promotion of 25 percent off).

For more information, visit ymcahuntsville.org.

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