July 01, 2020
Have you been baking lately? Have you gotten caught up in the bake your own bread craze or making a sourdough starter? We’re all looking to try something new, and while it may sound fun, the thought of baking my own bread is somewhat exhausting! The very thought of yeast often has even the most experienced cook heading for the hills, but I’ve learned to trust the process. I’ve discovered… [...]
June 25, 2020
Did you know that June is Men’s Health Month? This year so far has been, in no uncertain terms, the beginning of a very different decade. As with any new start, a new decade comes with the opportunity to look forward to the future and reminisce on the past. As we consider all that has changed, we can evaluate how we’ve been dealing with our health—spiritually, mentally, and physically. To… [...]
June 20, 2020
We’ve all been doing a lot of cooking at home as of late. And, as much as I’m a firm believer in the importance of an honest repertoire in the kitchen, I know we all get caught up in the foods that we’re comfortable cooking and eating. But that can start to get a little boring over time. Yet, there is something exhilarating about stretching beyond the familiar. Sometimes, we… [...]
June 11, 2020
As the school year winds down, it might be fun to do some more activities in your kitchen. Turning the kitchen into a classroom is a fun and easy way to bring STEAM education into your home (and this can last into the summer months as well!). I know that some of us have picky eaters to please, so when we can teach and enjoy the finished product with sparkling… [...]
June 05, 2020
Dear YMCA Family, Across the country and across our community, the strain and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by the pain, anger, fear, dismay, and heartache many are feeling following the senseless death of George Floyd. When members of our community are hurting from injustice, we say... We see you and we stand with you. What happened in Minneapolis matters. What has happened in other states matters.… [...]
May 28, 2020
During stressful times we all crave some comfort. Whether that comfort comes in the form of spirituality, family, exercise, or food it’s something that makes us feel good. It may remind us of a childhood memory, a relative, and for some of us, it could be nostalgic or a way to find our spiritual strength. For me, comfort comes in the form of food. Usually, I get comfort from cooking… [...]
May 20, 2020
We’re certainly living in a different world lately! And it’s becoming increasingly more important to take time to focus on ourselves as well as our families. At the Y, we often focus on the spirit, mind, and body connection. We have always known that focusing on our overall health should be an important part of our everyday life. But sometimes other tasks and obligations just get in the way. I’ve… [...]
May 11, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. – (May 11, 2020) Thanks to the support of local partners and donors like Florida Blue, the YMCA of Central Florida has repurposed two of its temporarily closed facilities to offer emergency childcare at no cost serving first responders, front line healthcare workers, and essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency childcare has been offered at the Downtown Orlando and Winter Park YMCA since April 6, transitioning on… [...]
May 11, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. – (April 30, 2020) To help support community members in need, the YMCA of Central Florida will host free food distribution at several Y locations for the third week in a row. Packages of food and household supplies (200 count) will be provided at each location on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Frank DeLuca YMCA and the Titusville YMCA on Wednesday, May 6 and at the Osceola… [...]
May 08, 2020
As we’re trying to limit our trips to the grocery store and still map out meals for our family, cooking meals that can do double duty can make it a whole lot easier. Meals you eat once then repurpose later in the week as a different meal can be a lot nicer than just putting leftovers on the table. For example, roasted or grilled chicken on Monday may turn into… [...]
May 06, 2020
On May 2, 2020, the Florida State Alliance of YMCAs made community history! YMCAs across the state hosted the first-ever virtual Healthy Community Day for everyone to come together to share in some family fun while remaining safely apart. Because we’ve missed our members, program participants, and everyone else in our Y family, our staff put together a day full of learning, fitness, and fun for all ages. Check out… [...]
May 04, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. – (April 29, 2020) To help support the members of our community in need, the YMCA of Central Florida will host free food distribution at several Y locations for the second week. Two hundred packages of food will be provided, in addition to other household supplies, on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Oviedo YMCA, Dr. P Phillips YMCA, and Wayne Densch YMCA. The distribution will take place… [...]
May 04, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. – (April 22, 2020) The YMCA of Central Florida will host food distribution for the members of our community in need. Two hundred packages of food will be provided, in addition to other supplies, on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Blanchard Park YMCA and the South Orlando YMCA. The distribution will take place on Thursday, April 23 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. To prevent the spread… [...]
May 04, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. – (April 20, 2020) The YMCA of Central Florida has repurposed two of its temporarily closed facilities to offer emergency childcare at no cost serving first responders, frontline health care workers, and essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Downtown Orlando and Winter Park YMCA Family Centers will be offering these services beginning Monday, April 20, 2020. The Y’s emergency childcare will be offered for 13 hours a… [...]
May 04, 2020
Central Florida can stay healthy in spirit, mind, and body from the comfort of home ORLANDO, Fla. – (April 6, 2020) The YMCA of Central Florida is partnering with the Orlando VA Healthcare System (OVAHCS) to provide the opportunity for veterans and their families to stay healthy using the Y's new online Virtual YMCA Wellness Center. This includes no-cost, fitness-streaming platforms and wellness resources to Veterans and loved ones for… [...]
May 04, 2020
Central Florida can stay healthy in spirit, mind, and body from the comfort of home ORLANDO, Fla. – (March 23, 2020) YMCA of Central Florida launches its Virtual YMCA Wellness Center to provide free, fitness-streaming platforms and wellness resources to both YMCA members and the general public for the foreseeable future. As facilities have temporarily closed and many Central Florida residents are working from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19),… [...]
May 01, 2020
It's no secret that leftovers oftentimes end up getting forgotten. While you may be tempted to toss them in the trash before they get pushed back further and further into your refrigerator, keep in mind that leftovers are a great opportunity for a new meal or snack! It can be daunting to have to make new meals every single night, especially when you want to ensure your family is eating… [...]

Wildflower

April 14, 2020
We have a bird feeder hanging from the soffit just above a window on the front of our house. It’s a simple, two-sided wooden feeder that I bought online when I couldn’t get my act together enough to build one. I had good intentions though, and a Pinterest link somewhere to prove it, I’m sure. For over a year, my daughter and I have filled this little house-shaped bird buffet… [...]
April 10, 2020
Today, we’re talking about stretching, but not in the form of exercise—although a good stretch and a little bit of exercise in the morning can put a positive healthy outlook on the day ahead. Today we’re going to talk about stretching your meals! In these uncertain times, we may find ourselves with less on hand than normal, and thinking, “How can I make sure my family feels satisfied and full… [...]
April 05, 2020
When you’re unable to make a grocery run, it can be hard to put together healthy and delicious meals. However, eating healthy can still be simple and tasty if you have a few key essentials in your kitchen. These essential ingredients can be used to either substitute like-for-like ingredients in a recipe or to throw something together after a long day of work. The three categories of essentials are dry… [...]
April 03, 2020
If you’re home right now with the kiddos and looking for something that might inspire some learning, the kitchen is the perfect place. Cooking can teach math, science, and reading skills as well as spark artistry and creativity—plus, it’s fun for the whole family! We understand it’s hard trying to work from home and be a teacher for your children as well. So each week, we’ll share one or two… [...]
March 30, 2020
Research shows that children thrive on structure and consistency, both of which help build trust between a child and their caregiver(s). Little ones like to know that they’re going to eat around the same time every day, that they have to brush their teeth and get dressed, that you’ll help clean up a boo-boo, and they especially love the feeling of security that comes from showing affection to their bids… [...]
March 26, 2020
The foods we eat have a direct relationship to the way our bodies protect us from toxins and infections. And now—more than ever—we all want to have a healthy and strong of an immune system as possible. While it can be hard to avoid, anxiety and panic can actually weaken your immune system. People of all ages often don’t receive the proper immunity-boosting nutrients from food, and I understand how… [...]
March 20, 2020
Our YMCA Aquatics team has put together dry-land home activities—no pool required! These home activities help to develop good form and build stamina. When the skill has been mastered on land, it becomes easier to perform in the water. Swim Lesson Technique: Back Float Swim Lesson Technique: Back Glide Swim Lesson Technique: Butterfly Swim Lesson Technique: Dive Swim Lesson Technique: Flip Turn Swim Lesson Technique: Front Crawl Swim Lesson Technique:… [...]
March 19, 2020
Sometimes it feels like no matter how much or how long you spend at the grocery store, you always come home to a pantry that’s missing something. Especially now, when trips to the grocery store are getting more and more infrequent, you need a game plan to ensure that everyone in your house has something delicious and nutritious to snack on. So when you make that last grocery run before… [...]
March 19, 2020
John Kimball, Lead Pastor of Palmwood Church and a Guest Contributor for the YMCA of Central Florida Shalom. It’s a beautiful word. Most people know it means “peace.” But this wonderful Hebrew word means so much more. Shalom is much more than the absence of conflict, strife or war; it is real wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, health, safety, and peace. In the creation account (Genesis Chapter 1), after each day’s creative work,… [...]
March 18, 2020
If you have children at home, take advantage of a variety of enrichment activities you can do together! With resources like the Central Florida Zoo's "Zoo to You" program, Kids Bop dance videos, a free STEM Club, and much more, kids will be able to stay entertained while learning something new. Click on each link below to access the available resources. Consider bookmarking this page, as we'll continue to add… [...]
February 17, 2020
February is often associated with love. Love comes from the heart, and that also translates to dedicating this month of the year to your heart health. Heart health is a very serious subject for me and my family and should be for yours as well. Even if you eat a balanced diet and exercise, family history and other factors contribute to heart health. In fact, on February 7, 2017, I… [...]
January 01, 2020
Welcome to the new year! January is a time for setting goals and setting budgets. Many of us will resolve to live healthier but will also worry about the impact on family finances. Here’s a secret: healthy eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Read on for tips for eating healthier on any budget: Consider store brands over national brands. Quite often they are exactly the same or pretty close… [...]
December 20, 2019
New Year’s resolutions are always fun to plan, especially the ones related to fitness. There’s something about a brand new calendar year that encourages a mental reset and an enthusiasm for trying new things. After celebrating the holidays and taking some well-deserved time to yourself, pop the tags off of those new workout clothes and get ready for another exciting year of self-discovery! Here are some tips I’ve learned over… [...]
December 05, 2019
Pies, cakes, cookies, and candy—oh my! What are we to do? ‘Tis the season for overeating, weight gain, and discomfort. All of which typically results in the short-lived, but oh-so-necessary, “New Year’s resolution.” A resolution is a great idea if you can stick with it, but we often find ourselves triggered by negative thoughts and questioning why we tried to have a resolution in the first place. Fortunately, you really… [...]
November 08, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 7, 2019) – The YMCA of Central Florida announces today the name of what will become its newest location. The Leonard and Marjorie Williams Family YMCA will serve residents in the College Park area and surrounding communities as the Y’s 23rd location and will be a cornerstone of The Packing District, a transformational redevelopment coming to life through Dr. Phillips Charities. “The legacy of generosity and support… [...]
November 04, 2019
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, knowing what you can make ahead and what needs to be made day-of can be a big challenge… and quite overwhelming! Chef Gary shares his game plan to reduce stress so you can focus on what matters most on Thanksgiving—cherishing family and friends. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, create your menu. Decide if you are going to: Make everything from scratch Buy… [...]
October 23, 2019
Did you know that fat is an important part of our diet? Our bodies actually need fat to survive! In fact, at a minimum, we should be getting 10% of our daily calories from fat. According to the USDA, a healthy adult’s daily fat intake should be 25-30% of their daily calories. But not all fats are equally healthy. So, what kind do we need? What kind should we limit… [...]
October 21, 2019
On October 8, the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center hosted a renovation dedication celebration to recognize five donors who have helped the Aquatic Center serve Central Florida. The event included a grand opening of the newly renovated Lochinvar Teaching Pool and dedications of the Harris Rosen Championship Course, Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer Competition Course, SeaWorld Viewing Room, and New Endless Pool. “The Y has been teaching swim lessons in Central Florida for… [...]
October 16, 2019
On October 2, we honored staff members who are celebrating service milestones this year during the 2019 YMCA of Central Florida Years of Service Recognition Event. That evening, we honored staff from facilities, Aquatics, Membership, Before and After School Programs, sports, Child Development, and several of our association support teams like Human Resources and Finance. Honorees celebrated their commitment to improving lives for five years all the way up to… [...]
October 10, 2019
Making family lifestyle changes takes time and team work. It’s not something that has to happen overnight. Small changes here and there add up to lifelong healthy habits down the road. Here are five tips for making healthy eating fun for your family: Set Goals First, sit down as a family and set goals for your healthy eating plan. And remember, it’s not all about cutting “bad” foods out! It’s… [...]
September 24, 2019
On August 3, we honored our local military families with a special Military Appreciation Back-to-School Bash at the Osceola County YMCA Family Center, Titusville YMCA Family Center, and Frank Deluca YMCA Family Center in partnership with One More Child, VA, Homes for Heroes, and more. The back-to-school bash, which included backpack giveaways to military families, community services, and recreational activities such as inflatable obstacles and face painting, is part of… [...]
September 13, 2019
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and an opportunity for our community to learn more about this serious health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five children in the United States has obesity. Children with obesity are at a higher risk for other chronic health conditions including asthma, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. Obese children are also at a higher… [...]
September 10, 2019
The devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has left thousands of Bahamians without homes, food, water, and basic supplies. Here at the YMCA of Central Florida, one of our five core values is caring. We invite everyone in our community to join us in living this value and participating in our emergency relief effort for the Bahamas by donating to our supply drive and/or making a financial contribution… [...]
September 04, 2019
The kids are back in school, and schedules are picking back up. Between work, school, homework, sporting events, music lessons, wellness routines, and spending valuable time together, you want to keep your family healthy, too! You know what you need to do: Eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Focus on whole grains and lean proteins. But actually making it happen? It’s sometimes a challenge, especially during the week! Here are… [...]
August 09, 2019
When you first look at a nutrition facts label, it’s easy to want to zero in on the calorie count alone. But remember, eating healthy is about eating the right food, not less food! There are many healthy foods that have a higher calorie count, just like there are many unhealthy foods that are marketed as “low calorie,” “low fat,” and “low sugar.” On every packaged food item, you will… [...]
July 22, 2019
An Easy Guide to Carbs There’s a good chance you’ve wondered about carbs at one point or another. With many conflicting sources of information out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, confused, and ultimately afraid when it comes to carbs! But don’t worry – we’ve made a simple guide for you.   Carbohydrates have long been a staple in the human diet. In fact, carbs are one of three macronutrients… [...]
June 16, 2019
Community leaders to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center on June 19   ORLANDO, Fla. – (June 16, 2019) – The YMCA of Central Florida will showcase its newly renovated J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour on June 19 at 11:30 a.m. Wayne M. Densch Charities and the Leonard Williams Sr. Family donated $1 million to make… [...]
June 13, 2019
June 6, 2019 marked the 175th anniversary of the founding of the YMCA in London in 1844. Improving lives has been our mission ever since, and today, we are proud to be a part of a movement committed to strengthening communities in 119 countries worldwide. On June 8, Y staff, members and volunteers participated in the #YMCAChallenge and volunteered 175 minutes throughout Central Florida in honor of the YMCA’s 175th… [...]
June 13, 2019
At the Y, we believe that everyone can be somebody’s hero. Simple acts of kindness can have a large and lasting impact. On May 21, we celebrated our annual Day of Giving with fun activities all day long at our Family Centers to encourage donations and change lives. Thanks to our generous donors, we raised more than $46,000 to help reduce the risk of drowning by providing kids with swim… [...]
June 13, 2019
The YMCA of Central Florida believes that teaching kids water safety skills is a necessity – especially in Florida, where we are surrounded by pools, lakes, ponds and of course – the ocean! And from May 28-31, we provided 1400 free drowning prevention lessons for more than 350 kids at 10 YMCA Family Centers during our annual Safety Around Water Week. During the YMCA’s 4-day Safety Around Water Program, certified… [...]
June 07, 2019
With the arrival of warmer temperatures and higher humidity, it’s important to take extra steps to stay safe while exercising – both indoors and outdoors. When you exercise, your body temperature rises and your heart rate increases. Higher body temperature and heart rate coupled with hot weather makes hydration and rest even more important. Stay safe while exercising this summer with these five simple tips: 1. Hydrate before, during and… [...]
June 04, 2019
Maintaining a healthy family diet during the summer months can be a challenge. Summer is the time to kick back and unwind, but oftentimes, we also relax our efforts to keep our families healthy. With lots of backyard barbeques, July 4th celebrations and long days by the pool or at the beach to look forward to, it’s easy to overindulge on the not-so-healthy stuff all summer long. But don’t worry… [...]
May 07, 2019
Are you tired of adding more chicken and salmon to your salads to increase your protein intake? You aren’t alone. Eating more protein might seem tough, but it’s actually easier than you think! Along with healthy fats and complex carbs, protein is a macronutrient – so, it’s a very important part of your diet. Protein has been shown to help keep you full, speed up your metabolism and help you… [...]
April 04, 2019
On Thursday, April 18, the YMCA of Central Florida will host its Celebration of Prayer Breakfast from 7:15-8:30 AM at the First Baptist Church of Orlando. For 25 years, this annual community tradition has brought together people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds to unite in prayer. Celebration of Prayer supports the Y’s mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida by connecting individuals, families and communities with… [...]
March 28, 2019
Media Contact: Morgan Shepard, APR On Behalf of YMCA of Central Florida +1 (407) 210-1510 [email protected] YMCA of Central Florida Debuts Newly-Renovated Family Center in Pine Hills Community leaders to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wayne Densch ORLANDO, Fla. – March 27, 2019 – The YMCA of Central Florida will showcase its newly-renovated Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour on March 27 at 11:30 a.m. … [...]
March 22, 2019
The smell of flowers blooming, the warmer temperatures, more fresh seasonal fruits and veggies becoming available: All of this puts us in the mood to start our health journey and make a true commitment to ourselves. Just a few short months ago, we all tried to have a health renewal of sorts with our New Year’s resolution. In many cases, that resolution withers away until the end of the year,… [...]
March 19, 2019
Media Contact: Morgan Shepard, APR On Behalf of YMCA of Central Florida +1 (407) 210-1510 [email protected] YMCA of Central Florida Announces Development Team for Newest Family Center Location in The Packing District Brasfield & Gorrie, GAI Consultants, RLF, and Foundry Commercial will join the design team for new YMCA Family Center near College Park ORLANDO, Fla. – March 19, 2019 – Today, the YMCA of Central Florida announced the development team… [...]
January 03, 2019
Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships What do you think when you hear the word, “stewardship?” Many times, this word is associated with donation requests, but the concept of stewardship goes much, much deeper than that. A steward is someone who manages the possessions of another. We are all God’s stewards, managing the resources, abilities and opportunities that He has entrusted to our care. Jesus teaches… [...]
October 09, 2018
Halloween is so much fun because it’s not like other nights during the year. Here are a few tips to have fun and stay safe for parents and children: After dark kids need to be able to see and be seen while watching out for cars and other traffic. Using a light colored costume will allow your child to be seen much easier. Adding reflective tape to your child’s costume is… [...]
September 14, 2018
Keeping your “diet” on track! Do you feel that you are on the “diet” yo-yo? You lose a few pounds, and then put them back on plus a few more. You “diet” and “diet” and think that you are being good but if you forget some of the small things that may just be the cause of keeping those extra pounds on. First, let’s forget about the word diet. Make… [...]

Back To School

August 08, 2018
Try it—You’ll Like It While sitting at dinner the other night with a group of friends, the conversation turned to talk about our children and the fun summer they have all had so far. We quickly realized, staring us straight in the face… it’s that time again. Yes, I am talking about back to school. We need to go shopping and buy all those supplies that are on the list,… [...]
August 07, 2018
What happens when you take 400 teens and adults from all over the US and put them together for a week in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains? The answer is as simple as this quote by one of our teens: “This was the best day of my life.”   Once again, the YMCA of Central Florida loaded up buses and made the journey to the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black… [...]
July 01, 2018
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11 Many of you have heard the famous poem Foot Prints in the Sand. It tells of a fictional story of man walking the beach with God and looks back to see only one set of footprints at times in his… [...]
June 27, 2018
I was recently in a discussion with a group of parents. The conversation started out by talking about “diets” and making lifestyle changes. The conversation quickly turned and the focus became healthy eating ideas that the whole family can enjoy. I was truly inspired at some of the great ideas brought up in the discussion. This group has got it! It is not about their individual “diet” and health, but… [...]
June 20, 2018
Hydrate to Beat the Heat It’s summer in Florida, which means extreme heat, high humidity and hydration challenges. Getting enough to drink is important whether you’re working out, traveling or just sitting in the sun. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the vessels to the muscles and it helps the muscles work efficiently. It also keeps your body temperature better regulated, joints more lubricated,… [...]
June 11, 2018
Over 100 years ago, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Wash., her idea came to fruition with the first Father's Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19,… [...]
June 04, 2018
Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Them When I became a father 16 years ago, I could never imagine how I would relish in my daughter’s smile and how she would warm my heart every day. She’s a true inspiration. She gives me purpose in my life and inspires me to be a better person. Whether you’re a dad or male role model, you understand how special and rewarding… [...]
June 01, 2018
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in the world, and all who live in it;  -Psalm 24:1 Do we truly believe these words? Are we living our lives as a people who believe that everything belongs to God? That would mean that our families and relationships are His. Our money and even how we earn that money is His. It would even mean that our bodies are His. Many… [...]
May 31, 2018
On June 6, the YMCA marks 174 years as more than a place, it is a nonprofit organization that offers programs and services designed to foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Here are five past notable events and achievements that demonstrate the Y’s commitment to the communities it serves: American Institutions: Celebrations such as Father’s Day, and organizations like the Peace Corps, all have their roots at the… [...]
May 29, 2018
Not Plan “B” (Plan Be: Still) I’ve heard people say that God does not have a plan “B” but I do believe that He has a plan “Be.” In the Gospel of Mark, we find Jesus and his followers are on a boat after a long, exhausting day. The writer tells us after this hard day, Jesus falls asleep on the boat. But even after a long day, Jesus is… [...]
May 09, 2018
The Y Encourages Older Adults “Engage at Every Age” This May You are never too old to eat healthy, get active and social May is Older Americans Month and the YMCA of Central Florida is emphasizing the importance of being kind to yourself by getting active and involved, no matter where you are in life. We encourage you to “Engage at Every Age,” developing behaviors that are crucial to healthy… [...]
May 07, 2018
Jesus says the greatest commandment is: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV) Would you like to participate in a meaningful mission trip without even leaving Orlando this summer? What if you had the… [...]
May 04, 2018
The month of May is centered on women’s health. So, if you haven’t done anything to take care of yourself lately, now is the time. Right now? YES! Right now, while you are reading this I want you to take a moment, stop, breath, and just be. Think about all that you are looking to accomplish. Better health, better food choices, relationships, spirituality, and anything else that comes to mind.… [...]
April 16, 2018
It’s 6:00pm, after a long day of work, and I have successfully picked up my kids from their grandparents, gotten my 7 year-old son changed and ready for Y soccer (after searching high and low for his cleats and shin guards, which we never can seem to find), convinced my daughter that, yes, she does have to go with us to his soccer practice, packed up her bike in the… [...]

Spring Renewal

April 11, 2018
If you really want to make some changes to your lifestyle spring is the perfect time to start fresh and get back to basics. How you ask? First let’s do some spring cleaning. Open up your fridge, freezer and pantry. Take a good hard look at what you have in there. Check for staples items. Click here for a list. Get rid of processed food stuffs that are high in… [...]
April 04, 2018
Register for Healthy Kids Day   With today’s families leading such stressful, hectic lives, it’s nearly impossible to make sure kids are getting enough time for exercise, reading and simple, old-fashioned outdoor fun.   In fact, according to the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot, fewer than 20% of the nation’s children read books for fun, get enough exercise or eat adequate amounts of healthy foods. And with summertime just around the corner,… [...]
April 01, 2018
With nearly 1-in-3 Florida kids overweight or obese – and a majority reading below grade level, the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is a great way for families to get up, get active and start developing healthier, smarter routines for summer. Scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018, this fun, FREE, family-friendly event will be held in partnership with Publix Super Markets Charities at 17 YMCA Family Centers across Central Florida. Activities will include games,… [...]
March 30, 2018
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor:  Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside,… [...]
March 29, 2018
The 27th annual event, which will be held April 21, is open to the public and will include family-friendly activities ORLANDO, FLA. (April X, 2018) – The YMCA of Central Florida is welcoming all families from across the region to swing by their neighborhood Y on Saturday, April 21 for a day of fun activities at its 27th annual Healthy Kids Day®. Healthy Kids Day is the Y-USA’s national initiative… [...]
March 28, 2018
The nonprofit is inviting all children aged 5 to 12 years to attend its annual five-day introductory swim program from April 23 to 27  ORLANDO, FLA. (April X, 2018) – The YMCA of Central Florida is continuing its pursuit to end childhood drowning in Florida. The nonprofit is inviting all local families with children aged 5 to 12 years to sign up and attend its five-day introductory swim program. The complimentary… [...]
March 07, 2018
March is National Nutrition Month and what a great month it is. Spring arrives. Days are finally getting longer, the temperatures are beginning to warm up, and many of us start organizing and cleaning our homes. But spring cleaning is not just for your home anymore! It’s just as important for us to clean and brighten up other parts of our lives. Even if that New Year’s resolution did not… [...]
February 09, 2018
“Beans, greens, legumes, oatmeal…” smart food choices can help put you on a heart healthy track. Hear more from our Director of Healthy Eating, Chef Gary Appelsies, on Z88.3 Mornings with Ellis and Tyler as he discusses American Heart Month. [audio src-"020918-Heart-Health-YMCA.mp3"] [...]
February 05, 2018
With February being American Heart Month, we are focused on being heart healthy. “It’s really important to be physically active on a regular basis for the health of your heart,” says Kelly Prather, the YMCA of Central Florida’s Executive Director of Health Strategy and Member Experience. Hear more from Kelly’s radio interview with Ellis and Tyler from Z88.3 Mornings. [audio src-"020518-Heart-Health-YMCA.mp3"] [...]
February 05, 2018
Orlando, Fla., to Host 2018 UANA Pan American Masters Championship The swimming championship will be held at the YMCA Aquatic Center on International Drive ORLANDO, FLA. (Sept. 8, 2016) -- The Central Florida YMCA is pleased to announce that Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) has selected Orlando and the Central Florida YMCA to host the 2018 Pan American Masters Championship. The Championship will be held at the YMCA Aquatic Center… [...]
January 31, 2018
Your heart is perhaps the most important muscle in your body. If your heart is not functioning properly, the organs in your body are not getting the proper amount of oxygen they need to function at their fullest. That’s their nutrition! And by supplying your body and your heart with foods that are healthful, your heart will pump rich, oxygenated blood through your veins and to the organs that help… [...]
January 23, 2018
If you have ever traveled on a commercial airline, you have heard and probably ignored the flight attendants giving the safety briefing. It is actually very good advice on how we should approach our own self-care. It often sounds something like this: “In the event the cabin loses air pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead compartment… please place your mask over your nose and mouth before attempting to… [...]
January 15, 2018
It’s time again when we jump on the ever so popular resolution train. For many, those resolutions are around health and wellbeing. But, where do you start? Does a healthy lifestyle begin at home? Does it start at the gym? I believe it starts at home. In the United States, there are over 150 million people, including millions of children, who suffer from obesity, diabetes, and a myriad of chronic… [...]
January 04, 2018
  Welcome to the start of a new year. If you are like most, you have been a bit indulgent over the holidays and now you’re starting to get rid of the holiday weight gain and moving yourself back on track. At the beginning of the year more than any other time, I frequently get asked, “What do you eat to stay healthy?” The truth is, my diet stays very… [...]
January 03, 2018
By: Kelly Prather, Executive Director of Health Strategies & Member Experience Kelly is a Health Educator by trade and has spent nearly 20 years in the Y movement specializing in health behavior change, wellness, staff development, and the overall Y Member Experience. So, I don’t really believe in the coveted New Year’s Resolution. Through my career, I have just watched too many members put immense amounts of pressure on themselves… [...]
December 13, 2017
The YMCA of Central Florida would like to thank our partners at Tivity Health for their recent donation of 100 gift cards that we were able to provide to our Central Florida neighbors in need. At both the South Orlando YMCA and Wayne Densch YMCA, Y team members helped to identify those who are in financial need, whether to support a medical aliment, hurricane relief following Irma, or other distress.… [...]
November 20, 2017
During our 2017 summer camp program YMCA Camp Wewa was visited by the American Camp Association (ACA) to do an accreditation visit and we are happy to report that we have received our official accreditation this fall! The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share their knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. The… [...]
October 16, 2017
It takes a village (of volunteers!) YMCA Camp Wewa has a special opportunity upon us. On Saturday, October 21, 2017, our camp will be flooded with over 800 volunteers made up of Lockheed Martin employees, friends and family. Every year Lockheed Martin picks an organization to donate their time and resources to for their Day of Caring event. This year YMCA Camp Wewa will be the benefactor of this company-led… [...]
September 06, 2017
Encouraging Healthy Habits “I try to encourage healthy eating habits for my family, but nutritious choices don’t seem to be appealing.” I hear this time and time again from parents who are trying to get their kids to eat healthier. Yes, it can be a challenge, but we must not give up. Whether they’re toddlers or in their teens, children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the… [...]
August 21, 2017
On June 10th, the YMCA of Central Florida gathered past and present Teen Achievers to celebrate the program’s 27th anniversary. Launched in 1980, Teen Achievers is a free program which was designed to support the academic and professional success of middle school and high school students in the Central Florida community. Teen Achievers relies on a network of volunteers who donate their time and energy into mentoring and serving as… [...]
June 29, 2017
As part of our Communities for Health initiative, we joined OUC – The Reliable One to launch a successful “Lunch in the Garden Event”.  Organizations such as Seed2Source, OUC, and the YMCA of Central Florida, combined efforts to educate employees on sustainable farming, healthful eating, and how to take food farm-to-table.  Our very own Healthy Eating Director, Gary Appelsies, demonstrated how anyone can prepare the healthful meal that they all… [...]
June 06, 2017
The program aims to fill the gap in health care delivery from clinic to community ORLANDO, FLA. (June 6, 2017) – The YMCA of Central Florida is continuing its mission to improve the lives of all in Central Florida.  Starting today, members who are at-risk for chronic disease or who are struggling with a health condition will be able to enroll in a special, eight-week program called HealthierLifeRX. The innovative… [...]
April 04, 2017
In support of its mission to improve community health, the YMCA of Central Florida has begun a major renovation to the Oviedo YMCA Family Center. It is the fourth Y facility in recent years to undergo a significant renovation or expansion as the organization seeks to expand its impact through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Included in the yearlong renovation will be new locker rooms, family changing rooms,… [...]
April 04, 2017
As the YMCA Teen Achievers Program continues to grow and thrive, a record-breaking 10 students received onsite admission during the Achievers’ 2017 Spring College Tour and eight received scholarship awards totaling $152,000. Now in its 27th year, Y Teen Achievers provides the extra mentoring and academic support that many youth need to make smart decisions and pursue their college and career dreams. The program’s annual college tours cap off a… [...]
April 04, 2017
Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President/CEO; Mike Manuel, YMCA Metro Board Chair; and Wayne Humphrey, YMCA Senior Vice President for Public Policy, were among more than 100 Y leaders from across the nation who recently attended YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. During the event, the group met with lawmakers to promote broader awareness of the Y cause and mission. Also discussed were potential collaborations in areas where… [...]