During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Summit Area YMCA is encouraging residents of the Summit area to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of Summit and the greater Summit area, the Y wants all people to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps to take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system, but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year. Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes.

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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.

To learn more about your risks come to the Summit YMCA lobby, Monday, November 20th from 9 am – 11 am. Overlook Medical Center will be here providing free Diabetes Screenings and Education.

In addition, the Summit Area YMCA offers many exercise and nutrition programs for all ages to improve overall health along. Some of these programs include Personal and Small Group Training, Wellness Coaching and Healthy U program for children.

To learn more about the Summit Area Y’s healthy programs, please go to https://www.thesay.org/programs

Wellness Coaches at the YMCA can work with diabetes patients in a variety of ways including providing self-management support. bridging the gap between clinician and patient, offering emotional support and resources and serving as a continuity figure. Coaches facilitate a patient-directed process of evaluation and assessment, exploration, tracking and accountability and assist in co-creating a plan that is tailored to the patient. Health & Wellness Coaches can work with a patient individually or in small groups.

Wellness Coaches can help create a whole-life integrated wellness plan toward managing diabetes and bringing about the lifestyle changes needed for a healthier life. Coaches serve as an ally to help those challenged with diabetes follow through with their health & wellness plan so they can achieve their goals toward their best life possible. For more information on the YMCA Wellness Programs, go to https://www.thesay.org/Programs/Detail/38/Personal-Training-Wellness.

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living 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, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
• Choose water 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 Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501c3 organizations. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.