Jackie Aulenback is improving her health one step at a time.  She has gone down three clothing sizes and eliminated the need for high blood pressure and diabetes medication in just nine months thanks to regular exercise at the YMCA. 

Jackie Aulenback decided she wanted to live a healthier life two years ago. She asked for a membership to the Saint John Regional Y for Christmas and was thrilled to unwrap the gift of health on December 25th, 2016. But taking the next step and getting to the gym wasn’t as easy as she anticipated. It wasn’t until January of 2018 when Jackie’s family pushed her to officially join the Y family. She started by walking the track and reaching her daily goal of 10,000 steps.  After enjoying the benefits of becoming active she decided to step up her routine. 

“The first time I went to a class, I walked in and people were so friendly. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the exercises because I was so big, but the class went by and I could do every exercise. I loved that the instructor kept explaining options so that everyone could do the workout.” 

Jackie explained how the Y has made her confident to try something new and to not let fear hold her back. 

“What I’ve received the most out of this experience is how I feel after the exercise classes, the endorphins are amazing,” she said.  “I try to tell people it is easier than you think.” 

She encourages others to try something new, because besides becoming physically healthier, the friendships and positive experiences have improved her mental health as well.

In 2017 the YMCA supported 66% of participants to take part in programming that allows them to live a healthier life. Partnerships with Horizon Health are always providing unique opportunities for rehabilitation programs.