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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.