Twelve of North Carolina's YMCA are providing at least one of seven evidence-based health initiatives across the state.
BLOOD PRESSURE SELF MONITORING PROGRAM
This evidence-based program features individualized support as participants develop the habit of monitoring their blood pressure. Research shows that the process of recording blood pressure at least twice a month over a period of four months has been shown to lower blood pressure in many people with high blood pressure.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps overweight adults at risk for type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. 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. The program is delivered over a 12-month period in a classroom setting and can be offered in any community location to participants who meet qualification criteria putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is an affordable, high quality lifestyle change program directly translated from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Diabetes Prevention Program trial, a clinical study that showed a lifestyle change intervention yielding modest weight loss (5 to 7%) and increased physical activity (up to 150 minutes per week) can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58% and 71% in adults over the age of 60.
The Y offers EnhanceFitness as an older adult fitness program and it also serves as a way for adults to manage arthritis. The evidence-based program uses simple, easy-to-learn movements that motivate individuals (particularly those with arthritis) to stay active throughout their life. Each class session includes cardiovascular, strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises and the fostering of strong social relationships between participants.
HEALTHY WEIGHT AND YOUR CHILD
Aimed at obese children ages 7-13, this evidence-based, family-oriented program helps children improve their health, fitness and self-esteem.
LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA
LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is a small-group program that helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis. Through this program YMCAs are creating communities among cancer survivors and guiding them through safe physical activity, helping them build supportive relationships, and reducing stress – leading to an improved quality of life.
Moving For Better Balance is a 12-week evidence-based group exercise program developed by researchers at the Oregon Research Institute. The program, based on the principles of Tai Chi, is led by a qualified Instructor and teaches eight movements modified especially for falls prevention. The program improves balance, muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility to enhance overall physical health, which leads to better functioning in daily activities. Participation in the program may also result in better mental health, reduced stress, improved memory and cognition, and increased self-esteem.
WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
The Weight Loss Program is an adaptation of the Lose to Win weight loss program developed by the YMCA of Greater Seattle in the summer of 2014. Lose to Win was shown to be supportive in helping YMCA members lose weight through a combination of facilitator-led discussions on balanced eating, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle topics and the creation of reasonable, attainable goals. In addition to weight loss, participants reported improved ability to engage in physical activity and healthy eating patterns, as well as improved quality of life.