Receiving a negative health diagnosis can make you feel hopeless. But, it does not have to mean there is nothing you can do to change your quality of life moving forward. In fact, in a lot of cases, adopting a healthy lifestyle can stunt or even reverse the effects of many chronic illnesses and conditions. We also know that your results will be better with a healthy lifestyle than if you approach it with just medicine alone.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reports that “chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation’s health spending.” Intervention through exercise, healthy eating, and spiritual wellness can be the #1 way to control or stop a chronic illness. So, if you knew that you could personally contribute to changing these numbers – and improve your overall health in the process – wouldn’t you want to do it?
While people understand these facts and want to make changes to positively affect their health, they often don’t know where to begin. As a mission-based organization, the Y wants to help people address their chronic illnesses and conditions head-on. We don’t want to sit idly by while our community’s quality of life diminishes if there is something we can proactively do.
Besides our Wellness Works and personal training programs that can help anyone wherever they are in their wellness journey, the Y has several evidence-based programs where we can partner with your physician to help you gain a better quality of life. These programs are led by highly-credentialed coaches who have are experts in the latest methodologies customized for particular conditions.
Here is a snapshot of some of the program the YMCA of Greenville offers. All our programs are eligible for scholarships for qualifying individuals.
Wellness Works RX – Parkinson’s
This program helps restore dignity for participants suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s so they can perform daily tasks that most of us take for granted. For example, many participants used to shuffle their feet as they walked, increasing their risk of falling, but now walk with confidence again. Others could not button their shirts before participating in the program, but now can. The benefits are not just physical with improved motor control, but also psychological as participants gain confidence, have elevated moods and generally enjoy life better than before.
Blood Pressure Monitoring Program
1 in 2 people have high blood pressure, and South Carolina ranks 8th in the nation for hypertension rates. High blood pressure is a key, modifiable, risk factor for both stroke and heart disease, which are two of the leading causes of death in the US. In an effort to address these issues, the Y designed an evidence-based, self-monitoring program aimed to help participants better manage their blood pressure. The program helps adults lower and manage their blood pressure, using regulated home self-monitoring of one’s blood pressure using proper measuring techniques, individualized support and nutrition for better blood pressure management. Participants will receive support from our trained Healthy Heart Ambassadors for the duration of the four-month program.
Rob’s Big Losers
The YMCA of Greenville and HIS Radio 89.3 have partnered together for the past 13 years to help people lose weight during a 12-week supervised program. Just this past weekend, this year’s participants finished the program with a 5K race. The top two program winners lost more than 15% of their body weight through training sessions with their wellness coaches, eating better and changing their mentality that they are not stuck for the rest of their lives being overweight and unhealthy.
Last year, one participant reduced the number of medications she was taking for a chronic illness and reduced the strength of the ones she still had to take – all because she changed her lifestyle. Another experienced a reduction in the lymphedema in her legs when she exercised – a change that helped her increase her mobility, quality of life and overall health.
If you or someone you know simply want to feel better, come see us. You may not need to lose any weight, but maybe you are struggling with depression or something similar. We will work with you from the level of fitness you are to create an exercise program that can help your mental disposition. We know that with exercise, your level of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, and the better you can respond to what life throws at you. Don’t feel that it’s too late to do something about your health, because even if you can’t eradicate a chronic illness, you may be able to delay its progression and control how well you can feel.