As community outreach programs go, the ’s latest outreach programs go further than most as part of Y-USA’s “call to do more” to strengthen the foundation of community in the cities and towns the Y's work in.
That’s “Y” the Rye Y is focusing on “The Big C and D” as in cancer and diabetes with two new program offerings with October start-up dates.
Here's a condensed look at the new programs:
Livestrong at the YMCA is a wellness program for cancer survivors developed in conjunction with Y-USA and cycling champion Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation (Armstrong being a cancer survivor).
The Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) is a clinically proven behavior modification program designed to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Both programs are becoming increasingly visible throughout the Y complex in various ways.
On Fridays throughout September, for example, Y staff members have been wearing yellow Livestrong T-shirts to work as well as around town to dramatize and publicize the program so that area cancer survivors could learn about as well as register for the free program that requires pre-screening.
The ongoing program begins Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. and runs Tuesdays and Thursdays for 12 weeks. It includes, among other things, a small group cancer support group for adults, lectures on subjects ranging from nutrition to meditation, and free Y membership during that time.
It also includes regular meetings with a Y personal trainer who has been specially trained to work out individual programs for each participant, that elite cadre including Laura Tiedge, Diana Vita and Tanya Potrzebowski.
Sunday has been set aside as Livestrong Day at the Rye YMCA with a menu of events designed to showcase the program to potential participants as well as the community at large. There are eight events on the Sunday Livestrong calendar including a special spinning class, a Zumba Master Class and a Yoga class. There will also be a noon outdoor group bike ride.
The program is designed to show that Livestrong at the Y is about health, not disease while helping cancer survivors shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or what is called their “new normal” as they find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and becoming fit again.
The Diabetes Prevention Program aims to help those at high risk for type 2 diabetes reduce the chance they will develop the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and weight loss. You must be overweight and have a diagnoses of pre-diabetes or overweight and be at high risk for developing diabetes to qualify for the program.
For further information about Livestrong, contact Laura Tiedge and for YDPP contact Tanya Portzebowski at 967-6363.
Both programs have been in the works for more than a year now, and are an outgrowth of the Y’s Activate America Healthier Commnities work that began in 2005 when the Rye Y began to step up their programs by going into the communities it serves: Rye, Harrison, Mamaroneck and Larchmont.
The Y goal, executive director Gregg Howells said, is to help promote the benefits of healthier living through increased exercise and better nutrition.
Those efforts have allowed the Y to work closely with local schools and key community leaders to develop strategies for increasing physical activity and improving road/sidewalk infrastructure that hopefully leads to more biking or walking and encouraging healthier eating through the Y’s school gardens initiative, according to Howells.
The Y’s next giant step forward is the Rye Y’s focus on chronic disease prevention through its new Livestrong and YDPP programs.