Weight loss, improved sleeping, fewer medical problems and feeling better overall are among the benefits participants are reporting after completing the Southington Community YMCA’s free Diabetes Prevention Program, a 12-week series incorporating health education and exercise.
The Southington Community YMCA, in collaboration with Hartford HealthCare, has been offering the program since November. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. or 7 to 8 p.m., at the YMCA Spirit, Body, Mind Center, at 130 North Main St.
Registration is underway for the next session, April 2 to June 20. The program will break for the summer, resuming Sept. 17.
Each class includes a guest speaker who addresses various aspects of Type 2 diabetes, discussion and 30 minutes of physical activity. Participants learn more about healthy eating, sharing accountability and tracking their food intake using food journals. The goal is to bring out the physical best in all participants and provide group support in a friendly, non-threatening environment.
Hartford HealthCare educators include registered dietitians, an advanced practice registered nurse and pharmacists who discuss topics such as healthy cooking, medication and cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes.
“The combination of physical activity and education at each session is proving to be vital to its success,” said Jolene Miceli, Southington Community YMCA Healthy Initiatives coordinator. “Participants have met many of their initial goals and have gained the knowledge they need to keep living their best, healthy lives.”
All program participants have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States with more than 1 million people diagnosed each year, according to the American Diabetes Association.
People should be 18 years old and up and meet at least one or more of the following criteria: They have been told by a medical professional that they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, are overweight (BMI greater than 25) or have had a blood test result in the pre-diabetes range during the past year.
This health initiative is funded through a grant from the Bradley H. Barnes and Leila U. Barnes Memorial Trust of the Main Street Community Foundation.
For more information about the Diabetes Prevention Program or to learn how to get started, sign up at the Southington Community YMCA, 29 High St. in Southington or contact the YMCA at 860.628.5597.