Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

7 July 2016

Living healthy is important at every age and every stage of life. At the Y, we offer classes and programs that empower individuals to improve their health and live life to the fullest. With the addition of programs designed for chronic disease prevention, like the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program—a nationally recognized ally in the fight against type 2 diabetes, “prevention” and “management” are becoming key phrases in program development at the Y.

In order to help our community live even healthier lives, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads has implemented the first of many endeavors in chronic disease prevention and management:

Prevention: Diabetes Prevention Program
86 million American adults have prediabetes, and fewer than one in ten are aware they even have it. More than 50 percent of Americans over age 65 have prediabetes, and up to one-third of those individuals will progress to type 2 diabetes within the next five years without intervention. These alarming statistics were enough reason for more than 200 Ys across the country to get involved and help thousands of people reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes with the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. This small-group program helps people with prediabetes eat healthier, increase their physical activity and lose weight, which can delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together to achieve the program goals of reducing individual weight by 7% and building up to 150 minutes of moderate (the equivalent of brisk walking) physical activity per week for the purpose of reducing their risk for developing diabetes. As of February 2016, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program had served over 42,000 participants at more than 1,400 sites in 45 states across the country, resulting in an average weight loss of 4.6 percent at the end of weekly sessions and 5.5 percent at the end of a full year. The Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program is offered in seven cities across South Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina. If you think you or someone you love may be at risk for type 2 diabetes, read more from our website to find out how the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help. In addition, here is an article from the Huffington Post  that highlights the YMCA’s role in disease prevention.

Management: Rock Steady Boxing
Rock Steady Boxing enables people with Parkinson's disease to fight back by providing non-contact boxing-style fitness programs that improve their quality of life and sense of success and self-worth. It provides encouragement through a "tough love” approach, inspiring maximum effort, speed, strength, balance and flexibility. Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout—a combination that is crucial in combating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. According to the Rock Steady Boxing website, “Various studies in the 1980’s and 1990‘s support that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, rhythm and hand-eye coordination can favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait and activities of daily living. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense ‘forced’ exercise, and suggest that certain types of exercise are neuro-protective, which means that it is a type of exercise that may actually slow disease progression”.

At the Blocker Norfolk Family YMCA, Rock Steady Boxing is offered to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s through a four-week class that meets three times week, and is led by an instructor who was himself diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Similar programs are offered at the Suffolk, Princess Anne and Eastern Shore Family YMCAs. Visit the program portion of our website  to learn more.