Health & Wellness October Newsletter

Welcome to our Health & Wellness Community! Our expert staff shares their knowledge and experience, providing you with the latest nutritional tips, recipes, stretches and exercise classes to support your health journey.

Join the 500 or 1000 pound Club!

How do you become a member?  All you have to do is complete three lifts – the deadlift, the bench press, and the squat – and the total weight of 1 rep of each must equal 500 pounds or more for women and 1000 pounds or more for men.  Note:  we will allow hex bar deadlifts. Members who are successful at their lifts will have their picture taken and posted on the club board and will receive a bumper sticker so you can advertise your accomplishment! Your lifts must be observed by a YMCA Health & Wellness employee.

Please contact Personal Training with questions.

Instructor Spotlight

Get to know: Lori Haight

Lori Haight is the beloved instructor of the “Flexible Strength” and “55+ Strong” classes at the downtown Y.  Lori has been instructing classes at the Y for at least sixteen years, beginning with Pilates classes in the early years and then transitioning to her Flexible Strength classes, which also include Pilates elements.

Lori’s story: As a child, Lori attended a small school that didn’t have a physical education program.  When she began attending a public high school, her fellow students had experience with fitness and sports, and she felt lost.  In college she began running – just one block at a time, gradually graduating to two blocks, then three.  She began adding more physical activities, and after she moved to Wausau with her family, a neighbor suggested she volunteer at the Y.  That was around sixteen years ago – the rest is history!

Lori’s favorite thing about the YMCA: Lori loves the supportive community of the Y.  Many members come to the Y every day, and the Y is a second home and family for them.  Lori’s own personal goal as an instructor is to make sure that no one ever feels like they don’t belong.

Lori’s hobbies and pasttimes: Lori and her family love to hike, camp, and travel.  They are currently looking forward to their trip to Italy and Germany this fall to visit the German exchange student they hosted years ago.

Lori’s advice to someone just starting out on their fitness journey: Give everything you’ve got, and don’t compare yourself to others - we’re all in our own place on our fitness journey.  Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Come try Lori’s classes at the Wausau Branch.

Tuesday Mornings - Program Gym
Flexible Strength 9:00 – 9:45
55+ Strong  10:15 – 11:00


Health & Wellness Tip

Weekly Meal Planning!

When talking nutrition with my clients or class participants, the most commonly cited obstacle to eating a healthy, balanced diet is time.  While I don’t have Superman time-traveling skills and I don’t own a TARDIS (yet), I can provide some direction in how to better manage the time we do have and make healthy eating a little easier.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated.  Set aside a morning/afternoon/evening once a week and spend a few hours during that time preparing a few meals for the week.  Some can be stored in the refrigerator, some can be frozen, and after you’ve done this for a few weeks, you’ll have a constantly rotating stock of meals to grab and go.  Stock up on a few containers to make storage easy – here’s an inexpensive package of 10 reusable freezer storage containers that would be perfect:


Wellness Recipe of the Month

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

So let’s take a look at a delicious, nutritious, and simple meal you can make using your Instant Pot – it takes 30 minutes from start to finish and makes four servings.


• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 chicken breasts, diced
• 1 medium-sized red onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp oregano
• ½ tsp each salt and pepper
• 1 ½ cups chicken broth
• 1 cup dry white rice
• 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 1 zucchini, sliced
• ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
• ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional topping)
• Tzatziki (optional, to serve on the side)


Add olive oil, onions, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt & pepper, chicken broth, and rice to the Instant Pot in that order. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then do a quick release of pressure.

Open lid and stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and parsley and then replace the lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Divide among meal prep bowls and garnish with feta cheese (optional) and a side of tzatziki (again, optional).

Notes: You can make your own tzatziki using plain Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Store in the fridge for up to five days. To reheat, sprinkle some water over the top and then microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Freeze for up to three months. (Remember to date your containers!  I write a “Best By” date instead of the date I made the dish – that way, I don’t have to do any calculations when I’m pulling the container out of the freezer to see if it’s still good).  Reheat for 5-6 minutes from frozen in the microwave or thaw overnight and then microwave for 2-3 minutes.


Nutrition Information:

Calories:  478 kcal
* Carbohydrates: 43 g
* Protein:  42 g
* Fat:  14 g
* Saturated Fat:  4 g
* Cholesterol:  117 mg
* Sodium:  632 mg
* Potassium:  946 mg
* Fiber:  2g
* Sugar:  3g
* Vitamin A:  210IU
* Vitamin C:  24 mg
* Calcium:  107 mg
* Iron:  2 mg

New health & wellness program

Small Group Training at the YMCA


This fall, a new Small Group Training class format will be offered at the downtown Wausau Woodson YMCA.

What is Small Group Training, and who would benefit from it? Let’s break it down!

In Small Group Training sessions, one trainer will work with four to a maximum of eight clients.  Keeping the group to this size allows the trainer to personalize the trainings to the needs of the group members and allows the trainer to pay close attention to each client’s form so every member can progress safely.

What are the benefits of Small Group Training?

The benefits are numerous!  Besides experiencing the expertise of a personal trainer at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one training, additional benefits include:

  • Personalized workouts:  the trainer will get to know the needs of each member of the group and will be able to adjust workouts accordingly
  • Motivation:  having others working with you encourages you to keep going
  • Support:  small groups get to know one another and provide accountability
  • Enjoyment:  working out with friends is simply fun, and when exercise is fun, adherence to it is so much easier!

Who is Small Group Training for?

Small Group Training is for ANYONE!  This fall, the Y will be offering Small Group Training Teams tailored for these specific populations:

  • Introductory Older Adults: Members who are 55+ who are new to fitness and ready to learn
  • Strength Progression: Members who want to focus on overall strength building
  • Endurance Building: Members looking to increase cardiovascular and muscular endurance

Don’t see a small group category that fits your needs?  Let us know what you’re looking for!

When do classes start?  How long do the run?  What’s the cost?  Details, please!

  • Classes will run for 6-week “Seasons.”
  • Season 1 begin the week of September 18th and will run through October 27th, 2023
  • Season 2 begin the week of November 6th and will run through December 15th, 2023
  • Each class is 45 minutes, twice a week, for 6 weeks
  • Classes include two uses of the InBody Biometric Scale, a $70 value! One at the beginning of the 6-week session and one at the end of the session. The InBody report will help the client and trainer personalize their trainings and set specific goals
  • Classes will include personalized guidance and nutrition support
  • The cost of each session is $79, for YMCA members only

Click HERE to Sign Up for Small Group Training Now!

Stretch of the Month

The Hamstrings

Your hamstrings are the tendons and the group of three muscles that run along the back of your thighs, from your hip to just below your knees.  Hamstrings are frequently tight for runners and people  who sit for prolonged times.  They can also feel tight from insufficient stretching, weak core muscles, and lower back issues.  Tight muscles are more prone to injury and simply won’t perform to their full potential – so, let’s learn how to safely stretch our hamstrings!

A very simple way to gently stretch your hamstrings just requires a wall.  Sit on the floor in front of the wall and scoot your rear as close as possible to the wall.  Sit up with a straight spine and extend your legs straight in front of you.  This may be the extent of your stretch.  If you’re able, stiffen your upper body and then slowly hinge forward from the hips.  You can also try to flex your feet and think about bringing your toes back toward your knees.  You should feel these stretches all along the back of your legs.  Hold the stretch for 30 seconds at a time, with slow and deep breathing.

You can also stretch your hamstrings from a standing position (or sitting on a chair or bench) by extending one leg straight out, bending the other leg, and then hinging forward from the hips, reaching down the extended leg. Again, hold for 30 seconds per side.