YMCA Program Teaches Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

DENVER (CBS4)– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400,000 people in Colorado have diabetes. Some serious complications are heart disease, stroke, blindness and more.

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There is a program in the Denver metro area to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It’s offered at your neighborhood YMCA.

The classes encourage a healthy lifestyle to try to keep people from becoming part of the diabetes epidemic.

Three times a week, Adrn’e Steel works out at the gym. But the 38-year-old says he “gets moving” every day.

Adrn'e Steel

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His motivation was learning he was headed for Type 2 diabetes, like his mother.

“I’ve watched her go through a lot of ups and downs with diabetes over the years and it scared me,” he told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Adrn'e Steel

CBS4’s Kathy Walsh interviews Adrn’e Steel (credit: CBS)

So Steel took action. He joined the YMCA’s diabetes prevention program. It is 25 sessions over a year. Steel says it is not a diet.

“Smaller portions and add more vegetables,” he explained.

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And it’s not intense exercise.

“Just keeping yourself moving, doing a couple of extra steps and instead of the elevator, use the stairs,” he said.

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For Steel, it’s a successful support group.

“Before you knew it, I was 30 pounds lighter,” he said. “Even my grandmother’s like ‘What are you doing? What’s wrong with you? You’re getting skinny. Are you sick?’ No, I was sick before.”

Adrn'e Steel

Adrn’e Steel (credit: CBS)

“The goal is to avoid transitioning into Type 2 diabetes,” explained Monica Thompson, Director of Community Integrated Health & Lifestyle Medicine at the YMCA.

Thompson calls Steel a superstar. He dodged Type 2 and is facing a better future.

Monica Thompson

Monica Thompson (credit: CBS)

“It’s going to help me be there for my kids in the long run,” Steel said.

Thompson brought the national program in Denver seven years ago. It started with 64 participants.

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“And we are close to 400 this year,” she said.

The program has 400 people learning how simple changes can keep them from developing serious health issues.

LINK: Denver YMCA Diabetes Prevention