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AS SCHOOL YEAR STARTS, REFRESH HEALTHY HABITS

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and as children and families start their new school-year routines, it’s a perfect time to reflect and refresh your family’s healthy habits. As families settle into new school-year routines this month, the YMCA of Natrona County is offering tips to help Natrona County families incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into their lives.

  • Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Keep full water bottles available in the car and back packs.
  • Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
  • Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
  • Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, charge electronics/screens in the kitchen overnight, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).
  • Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.

For more information on how your family can live a healthy, active life, visit the Y.

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DON’T LET A FEAR OF FALLS HOLD YOU BACK

Did you know that one in four older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over the age of 65. These startling statistics are why the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has deemed September 18-24 as Falls Prevention Week the YMCA of Natrona County is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in Natrona County to join us in raising awareness to prevent falls among older adults.

“Falling and fear of falling may prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Risa Sabus, Senior Membership Director, YMCA of Natrona County. “The good news is that falls are highly preventable and help is available for older adults and their families who want to get active. We’re encouraging all older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking an assessment through NCOA here: https://www.ncoa.org/article/falls-free-checkup”

Once risk is assessed, the YMCA of Natrona County is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing falls risk through programs like Active & Ageless, Active Older Adults,  Aqua Fit, Deep Water Exercise, Water Up! and different varieties of yoga.

NCOA has 6 steps older adults can take to reduce their risk of falling:

  • Find a good balance and exercise program – Classes like [INSERT NAME OF CLASS AT YOUR Y] help build balance, strength and flexibility—all key in preventing falls. Sign up online today https://casperymca.org/class-schedule/
  • Talk to Your Health Care Provider – Share any history of falls and ask your doctor for an assessment on your risk.
  • Regularly Review Medications with Your Doctor or Pharmacist – Make sure the medications you may be taking don’t have side effects that increase your risk of falling.
  • Have Vision and Hearing Checked Annually and Update Your Glasses – Some falls occur simply because a person cannot see well. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet!
  • Keep Your Home Safe – Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe and install grab bars in key areas.
  • Talk to Your Family Members – Enlist support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue!

To learn more about the above programs please call or stop by the Y today!

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Welcoming Week: Belonging Begins With Us

This Welcoming Week (September 9-18), YMCA of Natrona County will join Welcoming America, other YMCAs and organizations nationwide to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities and bring together all residents in a spirit of unity. Each year, Welcoming Week elevates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of the country. The event is an opportunity for neighbors—both immigrants and U.S.-born residents—to get to know one another and celebrate what unites people as a community.

“At the YMCA of Natrona County, we believe Natrona County is stronger when everyone in the community feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good,” said Risa Sabus, Senior Membership Director. “We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Week, which is demonstrating that in places large and small, rural and urban, people of all backgrounds are coming together to create stronger communities. It is a time to celebrate the shared values that unite us as neighbors, parents and colleagues, and to make our towns more welcoming to newcomers and to everyone who calls our community home.”

About the Y

Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide.

About Welcoming Week

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. Launched in 2012 by Welcoming America and its members, Welcoming Week provides individuals and

communities the opportunity to proclaim welcoming values through events and local initiatives that foster mutual understanding between immigrants and non-immigrants, as well as deeper belonging for all.

About Welcoming America

Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. Through the Welcoming Network, we work to change systems and culture by providing communities the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive. Learn more at welcomingamerica.org.