Wednesday, January 19, 2011

YMCA Child Care Programs Help Kids Make Healthy Choices at Home

Last year several Y's Kids Before and After School child care sites implemented the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Heath) program in an effort to teach children how to be active and make healthy nutritional choices. The Skagit Valley Family YMCA partnered with the Skagit County Healthy Communities Project, Skagit Valley Hospital, United General Hospital, and Chlidren of the Valley. The impact the program has had on these kids and their families at home is an example of how great an impact the Y can have on your children and our community.

Prior to the program (at the beginning of the year), the kids were given a fitness test and nutritional questionnaire for baseline information. What we found was not encouraging:
  • 44% of the children tested were overweight or obese
  • 48% were borderline or need to improve their cardiovascular endurance
  • 67% are borderline or need work on hamstring flexibility
  • 27% and 34% were borderline or needed to work on muscular strength (pull-ups and curl-ups respectively)
Here at the Y, we know we can make lasting personal and social change only by investing in children and our neighbors. The Y, along with other community organizations, worked together and saw some significant changes in behavior and attitude with the CATCH program over the course of four months. Our teachers implemented daily physical activities and/or nutritional education that only taking up 15-30 minutes per day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Y Inspiration-Katie Heller

Katie Heller before her lifestyle transformation.
Katie and her husband after losing 135 pounds!

Just by looking at Katie Heller, 39, of Burlington, you can see she has a lot of energy. And those of us who have known her longer realize that we are looking at a completely different person from about three years ago. In fact, she's 135 pounds smaller than that person three years ago.

"A couple of years prior to my starting my adventure, my mom was very ill, and we almost lost her," Katie said. "After watching her go through some weight-related complications, I decided I didn’t want to be in that spot down the road and all of the sudden it was becoming very real that that was the direction I was heading.  Also, I was a little less than 2 years from my 20 year high school reunion, which proved to be good motivation."