Local YMCA Encourages Everyone To Increase Their Diabetes IQ

UNION COUNTY – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the YMCA of Eastern Union County is encouraging residents of Elizabeth, Rahway, Union and the surrounding communities to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease. 

Currently, one in three Americans (79 million people) has prediabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 11 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. With awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

The YMCA of Eastern Union County’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58%, and 71% in adults over the age of 60.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include: race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

“As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being, the Y wants residents of local communities to understand their risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes,” said Alane McCahey, Senior Director of Association Communications, YMCA of Eastern Union County. “Oftentimes, understanding that a person is at risk is the first step to making the necessary changes needed to live better, healthier lives.”

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living that can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Among these are:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose fish, lean meats, and poultry without skin.
  • Aim for whole grains with every meal.
  • Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight. 

The YMCA of Eastern Union County is helping to improve health and well-being through providing diabetes information, community screenings and the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

On Monday, Nov. 11, from 6-7pm, the YMCA of Eastern Union County – Rahway Branch (1564 Irving Street) will host a presentation titled, “You are in control – Tips on how to control stress, weight, and life for healthy living with diabetes,” by Paula Rovinski, Diabetes Educator from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rahway.

Upcoming Diabetes screenings include (no pre-registration required):

  • Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 4-6 p.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Wellness Center Branch – 1000 Galloping Hill Rd, Union – Led by Atlantic Health, Overlook Hospital.
  • Thursday, Nov. 14 from 2-4 p.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Elizabeth Branch – 135 Madison Avenue, Elizabeth – Led by Kathy McCarthy, Diabetes Educator from Trinitas Regional Medical Center.

The YMCA of Eastern Union County is beginning a new group of Diabetes Prevention Program classes in November. Contact Michael Johnson at 908-249-4809 to register. Upcoming classes begin:

  • Monday, Nov. 4, from 6-7 p.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Rahway Branch, 1564 Irving Street 
  • Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9-10 a.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Rahway Branch, 1564 Irving Street
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 7-8 p.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Five Points Wellness Center Branch, 1000 Galloping Hill Road, Union
  • Friday, Nov. 15 from 6-7 p.m. – YMCA of Eastern Union County – Elizabeth Branch, 135 Madison Avenue 

To learn more about the YMCA of Eastern Union County’s Diabetes Prevention Program and Screenings, contact Michael Johnson at 908-249-4809 or mjohnson@ymcaeuc.org. For information on Y branches and programs, contact the YMCA of Eastern Union County – Elizabeth Branch at elizabethinfo@ymcaeuc.org, 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch at fivepointsinfo@ymcaeuc.org, 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch at rahwayinfo@ymcaeuc.org, 908-388-0057, Wellness Center Branch at wellnessinfo@ymcaeuc.org, or visit www.ymcaeuc.org.

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