Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States with more than 1 million people being diagnosed each year, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In response, the Southington Community YMCA in collaboration with Hartford HealthCare has been conducting a free 12-week Diabetes Prevention Program which incorporates health education and exercise. It is held Tuesdays and Thursdays. Participants in the first session have reported encouraging results.
“The combination of physical activity and knowledge at each session is proving to be vital to its success. The participants have met many of their initial goals, have experienced weight loss, and have gained the knowledge they need to keep living their best, healthy lives,” said Jolene Miceli, Southington Community YMCA Healthy Initiatives coordinator.
Spaces are still available for the next session, Jan. 15 to March 28. Times offered are 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. or 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Subsequent sessions are planned for April 2 to June 20, and Sept. 17 to Dec. 5.
Each Diabetes Prevention 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, realize accountability and track 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 with opportunities to make new friends.
Hartford HealthCare professionals have included registered dietitians, pharmacists and an advanced practice registered nurse who have presented on topics including healthy cooking, medication and cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes.
Individuals should be at least 18 years old and meet at least one or more of the following criteria: adults who have been told they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes; adults who have been told they are overweight (BMI>25); or have a blood test result in the pre-diabetes range during the past year.
For more information or to get started, sign up at the Southington Community YMCA, 29 High St., or contact the Y at 860.628.5597.
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.