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The Y Works to Prevent Chronic Disease and to Reclaim Health

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Kosciusko Community YMCA is committed to helping the community prevent chronic disease before it starts with health and wellness initiatives including our YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The Y also helps those already affected by chronic diseases like cancer and arthritis through their LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program and Enhance®Fitness Arthritis Management program.

Starting another class this fall on September 13, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is offered locally by the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne. By participating in the program, participants can reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes while gaining tools for healthy living. The program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. Preregistration and qualifiers required.

Launched in early 2016, the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program is currently leading its 4th group of cancer survivors through a 12-week physical activity and well-being initiative. This safe and supportive group environment helps people affected by cancer reach their holistic health goals. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is an evidence-based program built on best practices for cancer survivor exercise. The goals of the program are to empower adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and to increase their quality of life through an organized program of fitness and strength offered in a supportive, small-group setting. The program is free, but there is an intake interview required.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 14 million people in the U.S. today are cancer survivors – those living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Historically, health care providers instructed cancer patients to rest and avoid activity or exertion, but studies now demonstrate the importance of physical activity for cancer survivors.

The Y’s newest program is Enhance®Fitness, free to Y members and launching this fall with the start of fall classes on September 6. Enhance®Fitness is geared toward anyone, but if you have a chronic condition, such as arthritis, you may gain strength and independence you thought were gone forever. Participants will feel energized – physically, mentally, and socially – and be surrounded by people who care about their success. The classes are designed to safely increase participants’ fitness levels through aerobic and strength training exercises while building a sense of community and social connectedness among class members. Enhance®Fitness has been proven to increase participants’ strength, balance, flexibility, mood, general activity level, and independence when they attend on a regular basis. EnhanceFitness will be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting September 7, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact our Director of Healthy Living, Stacy Thomas at or 574-269-9622 x216.