By Kathy L. Collins

November is National Diabetes Month, and during this month of awareness, members and non-members of the Campo YMCA can visit and experience first hand the Tampa YMCA’s amazing Diabetes Prevention Program. Wellness Director Rommel Velasco runs the program at the Campo YMCA.

Anyone who is 18 years and older who are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes can take a quiz to see if they qualify. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence based lifestyle modification program designed to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Participants gather in a relaxed classroom setting with a trained lifestyle coach to discuss how to incorporate healthy eating, physical activity, and behavior modification into their daily lives. The program is offered at each YMCA branch within the Tampa Y association and can be delivered to a workplace or community.

New classes begin at each branch every six weeks and can be started at anytime with enough interest from members of the community. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program have been shown to reduce the number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent and 71 percent in individuals over age 60.

Mary Ann Wurth was introduced to the program after joining the YMCA. Wurth said, “I was around 200 lbs. and learned that I would qualify for the program based on risk factors. I was not pre-diabetic, but was well on my way.”

Wurth’s goal was seven percent weight loss in three months. Wurth said, “Each week we were given info and tips.  We tracked our calories daily and weighed in each week to track our progress.  I started with walking around my neighborhood. Then, I began coming to the Y for cardio and weights. This gave me more energy and lots of motivation. The weekly weigh-ins became fun as the weight kept going down, and I made the seven percent weight drop during three months.”

Wurth added, “I wholeheartedly, endorse this program. I am 68 years old and I do not want to be scared of diabetes. I checked in with my doctor and my glucose levels have gone down. The program works.”

For more information on the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, visit the Campo YMCA located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico or call 684-1371.

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