YMCA sees increase in attendance in 2011
March 1, 2011
WKRN-TV News Nashville
The YMCA of Middle Tennessee has seen an increase in attendance, which is good news considering Tennessee is ranked among the fattest states in the nation.
According to the YMCA, just two months into 2011, visits are up about 22,000 compared to two months into 2010.
Last June, the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Tennessee tied for second with Alabama in terms of adult obesity rates in its report "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010."
For childhood obesity rates, Tennessee was ranked sixth.
Neighboring states like Kentucky and Mississippi also scored poorly.
Kentucky came in at No. 7 for adult obesity and third in childhood obesity. Mississippi ranked No. 1 in terms of both childhood and adult obesity.
According to the report, more than two thirds of the nation, or 38 states, have obesity rates of above 25%.
Personal Trainer B.J. Keener said there are ways to avoid such low scores in the future.
"It is very important to have workout buddies," she said. "They make all the difference. Be sure it is someone you can connect with, someone to pull you through."
Buddies are one of the reasons the YMCA of Middle Tennessee have been successful, according to Keener.
She said, "It is a community feel and people know your name and when you're here and when you're not."
Variety also helps fitness-goers stick to their resolutions.
"I think a lot of it has to do with variety and belonging," Keener continued. "I think we can meet a lot of people's needs. We have a lot of programs for everyone."
It's also important to keep in mind that fitness routines are typically easier to drop than pounds.
"A lot of beginners come in and expect those immediate results," she said. "Frequently, people walk up and want to lose 30 pounds by tomorrow."
If you want to stick to your weight loss goals, experts recommend you set realistic goals and pace yourself.
Keener said, "I would hope that all the awareness about obesity and health in general is making a difference. It's not just about appearance and losing five pounds, but about quality of life," Keener continued, added, "Remember slow and steady wins the race. The turtle always wins."
Tennessee does have an obesity task force in charge of focusing on nutrition and activity in the state, hoping to improve the state's obesity rankings in the future.
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