General Archives - South Sound YMCA

Sugar appears in all kinds of foods, both naturally (think fruits) and artificially as added sugar. Trainer Steve Messman walks you through common grocery store foods that have added sugars, and explains more about what it all means in his newest video.

By Lesli Baker

How can we make the most of solar energy, without getting burned? 

Make the Most of the Time of Day! 

Low solar angles (such as at dawn or dusk), higher latitudes, lower elevation, and cloud cover represent scenarios that decrease the intensity of the sun’s energy. Energy from the sun is more intense at midday, at higher elevations, and in certain parts of the northern hemisphere during the summer months. Working out outside, running, or working in the garden are best done in the early morning hours, or even at dusk once the temperatures have dropped a bit. UV rays can cause all kinds of different skin damage; the most worrisome is of course skin cancer. Commonly, this comes in the form of melanoma, but there are other kinds of skin cancer too. While some people are less susceptible due to their skin type and other factors, no one is exempt from skin damage.  

Here are a few more tips for staying safe while enjoying the sun: 

Wear Sunscreen 

This is the most important one and it applies to absolutely everyone.

How much sunscreen you need will vary from person to person, but in general you should aim to replenish it every two hours. You do not have to apply layers of it on yourself, but make sure you cover all your exposed skin. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to evaluate sunscreen products to ensure that they are safe and effective, and so that available sunscreens help protect consumers from sunburn. Broad spectrum products with sun protection factor (SPF) values of at least 15 can protect you from skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun when used as directed, and with other sun protection measures. 

Dress Appropriately 

Bright colors are useful. Wearing black will attract sunlight and you will roast. The best material to wear is recycled polyester – it’s a great sustainable clothing option which doesn’t attract heat.

In general, you should look for clothes which are “sweat-wicking”. This means that they will effectively transfer sweat through the material and out into the environment instead of trapping it inside. 

Keep Hydrated  

When you are in the sun, you get hot, and when you get hot you sweat, and this can lead to dehydration if not replenished. When dehydrated, you may feel dizzy or begin to have a headache. Always have enough water with you. If you are outside all day, bring a few bottles or one that you can refill when you need to. 

Seek Shade 

For longer days outdoors, such as when you play golf, you should try and get into the shade on a regular basis. Go from hole to hole in the cart and stand under trees while you are waiting. If you are playing tennis, get into the shade between matches. 

It is better to not spend the entire day in direct sunlight if it’s possible not to. 

Cover Your Head 

Getting burned on your scalp is no fun. The skin there is thin and it can be an uncomfortable place for a sunburn. Wearing a hat is best, plus the bill of your hat will protect your face from getting burned. 


Enjoy the sun this summer and have fun outside with friends and family, and remember to play it safe! 

By Lesli Baker

Meet Pavielle Dawson! Pavi teaches COMMIT Dance Fitness at the Briggs Community YMCA.

The COMMIT Dance Fitness experience is an epic fun-filled dance workout. Each routine focuses on essential fitness elements created to a variety of popular music from all over the world. Classes incorporate traditional fitness movements and consist of genres including Latin, hip hop, pop, country, Soca, reggae, and more. We asked Pavi how she came to teach COMMIT, and asked her to share a bit about herself!  

“I am an educator and mom of three that loves to inspire people. I have always had a love of dance, music, and community, so when Commit To You Dance was launched, I felt excited to participate as much as possible because it made me feel rejuvenated. It was and still is my best form of self-care because it creates a positive uplifting atmosphere. It also provides a great HIIT (high-intensity interval training)-style workout for the whole body. When I moved to Thurston County, I really wanted to offer COMMIT to the community so all folks that love dance and music could move their bodies in a fun dynamic way.

“When I am not dancing, I am watching movies with my kids or working my other job supporting high school youth with college readiness.

You can experience COMMIT at Briggs, Fridays at 5:30pm and Saturdays at 12:00pm! Don’t miss the fun!

By Lesli Baker

Feeling over-heated this summer? Try a cold soup recipe! Cold soups are hydrating, filling, and refreshing. One could always juice fruits and veggies, but a soup includes the same vitamins and minerals while also keeping the fiber. Also, adding together specialized ingredients makes for an entertaining and cooling meal for summer dinner parties and gatherings.  

For many, the one cold soup that they are most familiar with is gazpacho, a Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables and spices. But there are so many delicious combinations for other cold soups, even some that would more traditionally be considered a dessert with pureed fruits and even chocolate!  

Here is a fun recipe for a cool and tangy watermelon soup with zest, a great idea for a healthy dinner for the hottest summer days. It’s a refreshing combination of sweet and spicy. Give it a try! 


  • 7 cups diced watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Pinch Of Cayenne 
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving 
  • 2 cups diced honeydew melon or cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 2 cups diced cucumber, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives 
  • Handful of small basil leaves 
  • Handful of small mint leaves 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional) 
  • Pinch of flaky salt 


  1. Put 5 cups of diced watermelon in a food processor or blender and purée. Strain purée through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. You should have about 4 cups of purée. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill bowl on ice or refrigerate. 
  2. To serve, place the remaining diced watermelon, honeydew melon and cucumber in a small mixing bowl. Toss with a little salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Divide mixture evenly into chilled soup bowls. 
  3. Ladle watermelon purée into each bowl. Sprinkle with chives, basil and mint. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and flaky salt if desired. Pass lime wedges separately.