Stick to your News Years Resolutions!

January is half over already! How are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions? Most of us face the new year head on, dive into our resolutions and begin gradually running out of steam towards the end of January. Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated and stick with your goals:

Break Down Your Goals
Goal setting is a healthy exercise but it's easy to set high, lofty goals on January 1st that seem insurmountable by January 30th. Break down your bigger goals into smaller milestones that are less daunting to help you track your progress. Remember that reaching your potential is a journey!

Switch It Up
As we're trying to build good habits, routines can quickly become stale. Changing up your tactics can help things stay fresh. Are you having trouble making it to the gym? Try working out at a different time of day to switch up your routine. Bored with riding the bike? Try out a fitness class! Tired of eating salad for lunch every day? Make a big pot of soup to last the week.

Talk About It
Don't keep your resolutions a secret! Friends and family members can cheer you on to keep you accountable as you work to build new habits. Partnering with others and working towards common goals increases your chances of success.

Get Some Help
Ask for advice from experts and friends. Our friendly fitness staff are always on hand to help at the membership centres.  We have personal training packages available to help you with your fitness goals. There are also a lot of great smartphone apps out there that can help you achieve your goals.  If you are setting financial goals for 2015, check out Mint or Mvelopes. Weight loss? Lose It!,MyFitness Pal and Nike® Training Club can help. The right tool can help you track your progress and stick with it. Ask our Membership Desk about our free fitness consultation that's included with every membership.

Don't Give Up
If you slip back into old habits for a few days, don't be discouraged. Minor missteps are normal, especially when trying to implement big changes. Don't beat yourself up!  Start over and re-commit yourself to your goals. The most important part of keeping your New Year's Resolutions is to keep going!

Share your resolution with us and tweet @GreaterVanYMCA

Youth Mindfulness Group helps young people tackle anxiety

You may have heard the word ‘mindfulness’ creeping up in conversations around the water cooler or playground lately. Mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress, increase feelings of happiness and increase the quality of your sleep. It is with these benefits in mind that we launched the YMCA Youth Mindfulness Group program last year to teach youth with anxiety some helpful coping strategies and improve their overall well-being.

Believe it or not, one in four youth ages 12-25 experience some form of mental illness at some point as they grow (WHO, 2011). To help youth experiencing anxiety and other mental health issues, we are launching the next session of the YMCA Youth Mindfulness Group on Tuesday, February 23rd at the Robert Lee YMCA.

Check out what Anuschka Naidoo, Manager of Mental Wellness Programs, and former program participant Diana Apuada, said about the program on Roundhouse Radio last month:

Here’s what former participants said about last year’s group:

"The Youth Mindfulness Group helped me change my relationship with and attitude towards anxiety. Going into the group I wanted to eliminate anxiety from my life but with the support of the facilitators and other group members I was able to learn tangible techniques to find peace with my anxiety instead. I would highly recommend this mindfulness-based course for many reasons including the supportive nature of a group environment, the educational and practical activity components, and the importance placed on the connection between anxiety and physical activity by providing a gym membership for the duration of the course. Thank you so much!”

"I am extremely thankful for being a part of the Youth Mindfulness Group. Most people don't know how hard it is to live with anxiety. A lot of times, not even we understand what we are going through, which is what makes it even harder. It's a daily struggle against our feelings and sometimes it hurts so much you just feel like giving up. After the past six weeks going to the group, I can definitely say it has been a turning point in my life. Being able to share with people that understand and face the same challenges as you can have an amazing effect."

Do you or someone you know struggle with anxiety?  The YMCA Youth Mindfulness Group is for people ages 18-30.  To learn more and participate, please attend one of the following information sessions:

  • February 2nd from 5-7 p.m.
  • February 9th from 5-7 p.m.

Both information sessions are held at the Robert Lee YMCA (955 Burrard Street, Vancouver).  The group then begins on February 23rd from 5:00-7:30 p.m. and runs every Tuesday night for seven weeks.  All participants receive a seven-week health and fitness membership plus a complimentary book.

Tong Louie Family YMCA launches two new youth volleyball programs

In partnership with Volleyball BC, the YMCA is proud to offer two exciting new volleyball programs this winter and spring.

Atomic Volleyball is geared towards players ages 9-12 looking to develop and enhance foundational volleyball skills in a fun, inclusive, learning-based environment. Participants can look forward to basic skill instruction, while more advanced players will have an opportunity to focus on refining skills and developing positive habits.

Train and Play Volleyball is for girls ages 13-15 looking for quality instruction and an opportunity to practice skills in game situations. This program focuses on the development of core skills and use in a competitive setting, and is ideal for those who aren’t part of a club volleyball team but want to keep improving.

Upcoming sessions start February 12th and April 22nd. Space is limited; register soon to avoid disappointment.

To register, contact sportsleagues@gv.ymca.ca or call 604-631-5525.

Limited space in NBA All-Star Clinics

As part of the NBA’s 2016 All-Star Tour across Canada and to celebrate the 125th anniversary of basketball, select communities are hosting free basketball skill clinics for kids ages 8-13. Limited space is still available in clinics at our Langara Family YMCA and Robert Lee YMCA. Registration is required.

When:                 Thursday, January 21st 
Location:             Langara Family YMCA
                            (282 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver)
Time:                   6:00-7:30 p.m. 

When:                 Sunday, January 24th  
Location:             Robert Lee YMCA (955 Burrard Street, Vancouver)
Time:                  10:00-11:30 a.m.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the BMO NBA All-Star KidsFest, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday January 22nd at the Tong Louie Family YMCA (14988 57th Avenue, Surrey). This free, family-friendly event will feature:

  • Appearances by NBA legend​ Shareef Abdur-Rahim and the NBA ​Mascot
  • NBA interactive games like NBA Plinko and pop-a-shot
  • A special dance class taught by NBA Dancers
  • Photo opportunities
  • A YMCA basketball exhibit
  • A youth art program to design a canvas that will be displayed during NBA All-Star weekend in February

To learn more, visit the NBA All-Star web page or contact sportsleagues@gv.ymca.ca or 604-631-5525

Did you know that basketball was invented by a Canadian at the YMCA? James Naismith started the game at the YMCA International Training School with a soccer ball, peach baskets and 13 rules and values!

Free Family Day at the Y!

Now that we have rung in the New Year and 2016 is in full swing, we can look forward to our next holiday - Family Day on Monday February 9th! 

Family Day is a great time for the whole family to be active together. If the weather is good (fingers crossed), why not plan for a walk around Stanley Park? Or maybe hit the slopes or try something like snowshoeing? 

If you prefer being inside, all four YMCAs in Greater Vancouver, will be celebrating Family Day and be open to the public. We will have drop-in programming the whole family can enjoy! 

Don't have your family on your YMCA membership yet? This February, you can add your family free for a month. See how much fun the Y is when you go all together. Ask our membership services desk for more information.

The perfect opportunity to see all the Y has to offer. Hope to see you there! 

Camp registration open now!

Registration is now open for all 2016 spring and summer YMCA day and overnight camps. Too early to register? No way, José! Register now for your chance to win a GIANT mountain bike! Need more incentive? Register with a friend who didn’t attend a YMCA camp in 2015, and you both will save 10% of your summer session fees!