Go to the YMCA to fight diabetes

If you could reduce your risk of becoming diabetic by 58 percent, wouldn’t you? A collaboration between the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the YMCA is doing this through the Diabetes Prevention Program at local Ys.

According to the CDC, half of all American adults are destined to develop diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020, so community organizations like the Y are taking action. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, and 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.

After struggling to find a plan that worked, Mark Hurst joined the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).

“I joined the Diabetes Prevention Group, because I had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes by my doctor,” he said. “I went to the YMCA on and off over a couple of years with no distinct direction or plan.  I guess I thought watching others sweat, through osmosis, I would lose weight. Didn’t happen!

“I saw that a diabetes prevention group was meeting at the Y, and I called to find out more and joined. The YMCA staff is energetic, positive, knowledgeable, and very good at listening to what my needs are. Joining the group was the best decision I have made to improve my fitness, reduce my weight, to do the things necessary to prevent the onset of diabetes in my life. I did it. As I stepped off the scale smiling, I even impressed my skeptical self.  I met my program weight goal (of 7 percent body weight loss).”

YMCA DPP is an evidence-based lifestyle change program taught in two sections over a year. The first section is a weekly meeting in a small group format led by a trained lifestyle coach, and then after the first 16 weeks, the group changes to monthly meetings for maintenance. The goals of the program are to gradually lose 7 percent of body weight (or more) and add in 150 minutes of physical activity over time. These goals come from rigorous studies about what works to prevent the onset of diabetes. YMCA membership is not needed to participate.

To find out more, contact Susan Buell at 253-460-8912 or sbuell@ymcapkc.org, or submit an interest form at: http://www.ymcapkc.org/diabetesprevention/

Susan Buell is the association director of adult healthy lifestyles and chronic disease for YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.