How YFIT is Helping People Make Lifestyle Changes

Over 50 people looking to improve their health and wellness are participating in the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA’s Y Fit Challenge. The program, which runs for eight weeks, kicked off this Saturday and aims to help participants make lifestyle changes to make them successful in their fitness and weight loss goals.

As part of the program, participants were divided into teams and assigned a coach to motivate and encourage them throughout the duration of the program. Amanda Ray, a fitness instructor at the Y and one of the program coordinators, is serving as a coach for teams. “My goal is to guide and educate our challengers with the tools they need for long term success,” she said.

YFIT participants are given points for engaging in different activities, working out and showing others how they are eating healthy via social media. Each visit to the Y to work out allows participants to be responsible for tracking their workouts on a large banner in the facility and encourages others to keep up. Activities have been scheduled throughout the eight-week duration to promote healthy habits and clinics are held each Wednesday night to weigh in participants and allow them to learn about a new topic.

Already, they have learned about the importance of meal prepping and how to effectively plan, shop, cook and store meals each week. Organizers encourage meal prepping so that when hungry, Y-fitters can reach for a healthy option instead of binging on unhealthy ones. Nutrition experts are also sharing healthier options with participants and encouraging fiber and protein at every meal.

Other activities include sessions on meditation and goal setting, a lunch and learn at a local restaurant to choose healthy options and a trip to the grocery store to focus on healthy shopping tips.

At the beginning of the program, participants weighed in, were measured and were given a push up and burpee assessment. At the end of the program, points will be assessed for weight and inches lost as well as improvement on the assessment. At the end of the challenge, male and female winners will be awarded in two categories, weight loss and overall health gain with highest points.

“YFIT 2020 is so much more than an 8-week weight loss challenge, it’s a program to ultimately build lifestyle change for our members,” Ray said.

Registration for Y Fit is now closed, however, they Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is waiving the $50 Join free until January 15 for anyone wanting to become a member.  For more information, call 228-875-5050.


Written by Alexis Williams

A North Mississippi native, Alexis has lived in Ocean Springs for over 18 years and is happy to call the Coast home. Having worked in health care public relations and higher education, she now enjoys freelance writing and marketing and owns Shindig Floral Design, specializing in wedding and special events. She's the mother of two boys, a fitness instructor and a graduate of the University of Mississippi.


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