Community Spotlight – Kristja Falvo McKinney YMCA (part II)

What are one of two simple suggestions you can recommend to keep our community healthy and active?

Encourage neighborhoods to walk together.  Promote a city wide initiative to encourage basic physical activity rather than exercise.  Encourage parents who watch sports games to have a 5 minute field walk to get people moving.  Keep programs on-going, rather than promote them for a month and then discontinue them.  Educate the public on simple ways to improve their health.

What are some of the obstacles you would like to remove regarding health and well being?

The idea that exercise is hard.  Change the perception of what a healthy person looks like.  Encourage healthy food items in our schools.  Junk food is too cheap and healthy food is too expensive.   Make smaller serving sizes and cut the price of the serving.

How do you measure success in the areas of health and well being?

Personal attitude, celebrating the little successes rather than focusing on the negative.  Success is walking 5 minutes today because you didn’t walk yesterday.  Success is parking far away from the store and adding steps to your everyday life.  Success is the idea that more people our engaging in some sort of physical activity at a great level than they did in the past.  Becoming healthy is a journey and like any journey, you learn to enjoy the ride, the experiences, the good and the bad as you move toward your goal.

In the past, everyone smoked. Old movies show the characters smoking.  After years of anti-smoking campaigns, there seems to be less smokers.  More businesses are going smoke free.  It is important to change a culture and to educate the public on the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.  Of course, this is the ideal, and will would take the same initiatives that the anti-smoking campaigns had to take.  But of course, that would be a large task.

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