New YMCA class aimed at combating diabetes

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Want to take steps toward preventing diabetes while working to achieve a healthier lifestyle? An upcoming class at the Alabaster YMCA may be what you’re looking for.

The Alabaster YMCA off Plaza Circle will launch its first diabetes prevention program on June 3. The program will be offered every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and will run every week for 16 weeks.

“After going through the initial 16 weeks, they will meet monthly to track their progress,” Alabaster YMCA Executive Director Rhonda Elmore said during a May 23 interview. “This is the first time we’ve offered this program at the Alabaster branch, and we are excited about it.”

During the program, which will be led by Debby Lacruz with YMCA of Birmingham, participants will discuss topics such as healthy eating, increasing their physical activity levels, reducing stress, problem solving and more.

The program’s goal is to encourage participants to lose 7 percent of their body weight while gradually increasing their physical activity levels to 150 minutes per week.

By eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing weight, participants can lower their risk for diabetes and other health issues, Elmore said.

“Based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the program has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent,” read the YMCA’s website. “The reduction was even greater, 71 percent, among adults aged 60 years or older.”

Cost for the 16-week program is $75 for YMCA members and $150 for non-members, Elmore said. To register, email Debby Lacruz at dlacruz@ymcabham.org.