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YMCA recommends five easy changes in 2014 lifestyle

One of the YMCA's simple resolutions is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, like this woman snacking on a carrot. (CONTRIBUTED)
One of the YMCA’s simple resolutions is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, like this woman snacking on a carrot. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON COUNTY – With the new year, Heart of the Valley YMCA recommends taking small steps for changes, instead of setting major, unobtainable goals.

“Heart of the Valley YMCA sees lives transformed for the better by individuals getting involved in the community or making healthy lifestyle choices,” director of communications Mary Anne Swanstrom said.

The YMCA offers “five small, everyday New Year’s resolutions for 2014 that can, over time, produce big results,” Swanstrom said.

For healthier eating, water is the best drink of choice. “Also, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables,” Swanstrom said. “Experiment with new flavors at online sites, such as allrecipes.com or epicurious.com.”

By committing to community service, individuals not only have “a personally rewarding experience but also meet new people or discover an interest,” Swanstrom said. For example, anyone can clean a neighborhood park or distribute supplies at a local food bank.

To unplug from technology, people can limit screen time on television, video games, computers and mobile devices. With the spare time, individuals can take a walk, ride a bike, play at the park or have a game night at home with family or friends.

“Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and adults need at least 30 minutes,” Swanstrom said about physical activity. In a daily routine, individuals can take the stairs, parking farther from building entrances and attend a fitness class.

Another resolution is to put extras to good use by cleaning out a pantry, closet or attic. Homeless shelters or community outreach programs always welcome extra canned goods, clothes or household items.

“At the Y, we’re committed to strengthening communities and believe this begins with strengthening the people within our community,” YMCA president Scott Mounts said. “Achieving any of the Y’s recommended five New Year’s resolutions can help improve one’s health and well-being.”

Heart Of The Valley YMCA has branches in southeast and downtown Huntsville and Madison. For more information, call 256-428-9622, ext. 3008, email to events@ymcahuntsville.org or visit ymcahuntsville.org.

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