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Healthy Living Blog

Information and inspiration to help you make a habit out of living healthy.


How I Did It: Penny's Story

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Getting back to healthy habits is crucial—but often all the more challenging—when you’re a new, working mom.

YMCA member and local physician Dr. Penny Kumar can attest to that. After a difficult, complicated first pregnancy—and a nearly 50-pound weight gain—exercising wasn’t high on Penny’s to-do list, even though she knew better than anyone that it should be.

“You’re so tired and possibly even depressed. You’ve gained all this weight, you get little to no sleep…you just feel kind of low.”

Building confidence, seeing results

Fighting that inertia, Penny began making regular trips to the Y. She gravitated to group exercise classes like Dance Blast, where she’d stand in the back row until she felt more comfortable with the routines. Before long, Penny forgot all about getting the moves right and started having fun. “You’re so busy making friends in the class, you don’t realize how much of a workout you’re getting.”

Now, Penny shows up four to five times a week for a variety of classes—from strength-focused workouts like BodyPump™ to big calorie-burners like Kickboxing and Cardio Blast. And thanks to the consistent support of group fitness and a healthier diet, she’s lost more than 50 pounds in a year.

Penny says the weight she’s lost and the strength she’s gained have made her a more engaged mom—and that’s what matters most. “Now that I’ve been working out, I feel like I have more energy to spend time with my son and be active with him.”

Getting in the groove with group exercise

Like Penny, so many of our members find themselves at a crossroads in their health and in need of guidance, encouragement and accountability. Group exercise classes are often a great place to find all three—and the Y offers more than 600 of them a week across our 15 locations. Explore our group fitness guide for classes that fit your style as well as a list of beginner-friendly options.

About the series

At the Y, we recognize the road to better health is a lifelong journey—one that varies for each individual. But though our specific challenges may look different, we can still draw inspiration and insight from those who’ve achieved and stuck with their health and fitness goals.

In “How I Did It,” we share what worked for some of our biggest member success stories. We hope they’re a motivating reminder that at the Y, we’re all on the journey to getting healthier together.

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Association Office
1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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