Healthy Initiatives


Improving Quality of Life

In our communities, the YMCA helps thousands of people improve their health and well-being by offering programs including YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for adult, cancer survivors. To address Wallingford’s ever-changing health needs, we partner with local health agencies and other organizations to provide people with greater support and resources for healthy lifestyles, regularly offering a host of health fairs and screenings.

Community Health

Livestrong at the YMCA

As a cancer survivor, you know the tremendous toll the disease and its treatment can take on your spirit, mind and body. You want to begin to heal and reclaim your health. But where do you start?

LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA Can Help

In 2008, the YMCA partnered with LiveSTRONG® to help cancer survivors begin the journey toward recovery with the LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA program. Part of the Y’s commitment to strengthening community through healthy living, the program offers adult affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person.

LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA Focuses on You

LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA focuses on you – the whole person – not the disease. The free, 12 week program meets twice a week for 75 minutes, using traditional exercise methods to ease you back into fitness and help you maintain a healthy weight. You’ll focus on:

  • Building muscle mass & strength
  • Increasing flexibility & endurance
  • Improving confidence & self-esteem

Plus, learn about wellness, stress reduction techniques and how to continue healthful habits after the program has ended.

This program is offered without cost to participants and includes a free 3 month YMCA family membership. The YMCA provides trained instructors, the facility and equipment.

LiveStrong and the YMCA Logo
Taking It At Your Own Pace

No one experiences cancer in the same way. Participants come to the program with different physical challenges and lifestyle goals. LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA provides you with individualized attention and an approach to recovery that targets the areas you need to rebuild. There’s no competition here – physical activities are tailored to match your abilities.

The Need for LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA

Medical studies have shown that moderate levels of appropriate physical activity can reduce fatigue, boost self-esteem and improve muscle strength & physical endurance in individuals following cancer treatment. And cancer survivors themselves are increasingly aware of the positive impact that moderate physical activity and supportive relationships can have on their quality of life. LiveSTRONG® at the YMCA has helped thousands of cancer survivors move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.

Criteria for Participation
  • Strong personal desire – survivor needs to enroll in the program
  • Personal commitment to attending all classes
  • Informing physician of plan to join the program
  • Give permission to exercise specialist to contact physician or other healthcare professional when necessary
  • Complete our screening forms and questionnaire


For more information, contact Eileen Farmer, Coordinator of Community Initiatives.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a community-based lifestyle improvement program for adults with prediabetes. Its purpose is to empower adults with lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diagnosis. Risk for developing type 2 diabetes my be reduced or eliminated by weight loss, healthier eating and increased physical activity.

Pre-Diabetes Statistic
Improve Your Health, Boost Your Energy

To help reduce your risk for diabetes, your goal in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is to reduce your body weight by 7% and increase you physical activity at least 150 minutes per week within the first half of the program.

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal for the first half of the program would be to lose 14 pounds and increase your physical activity to what could be a brisk 30 minutes walk five days per week.

Lose weight, boost your energy, reduce your risk for diabetes and improve your health for life!

Group Support Keeps You Motivated

Everyone needs a push, a pat on the back, a helping hand sometimes. A little encouragement goes a long way when you’re making big changes. In the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program you’ll spend a year surrounded by a group of people with common goals who care about your well-being.

As a participant, you’ll enjoy:

  • A safe space where you can feel comfortable sharing and learning in private.
  • Making new friends. You will support each other as you all trade old habits for healthier new ones.
  • Working as a group. You don’t have to figure this all out alone.
  • The new energy and confidence that comes with losing weight and reducing your risk for diabetes.
Do You Qualify?

To participate in the program, you must be 18 years or older, overweight (BMI ≥ 25)* and diagnosed with prediabetes via one of three blood tests or a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes.** If you don’t have a blood test result, you must have a qualifying risk score.

For more information:
MaryLou Galushko

*Asian individual(s) BMI ≥ 22

**Qualified blood results in the prediabetes range are needed to confirm eligibility. Individuals who have already been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes do not qualify for this program.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led Notional Diabetes Prevention Program.

The listed YMCAs and the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Association of the United States of America (“YMCA of the USA”), have made a commitment to collaborate with the nation’s YMCAs on efforts to support a national movement to increase awareness and take measures to prevent diabetes and its complications among groups at risk and to help support treatment outcomes for individuals who have confirmed diagnoses or indications of prediabetes by promoting an effective lifestyle change. YMCA of the USA nor any YMCA offering the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program warrants or guarantees and specific outcomes for program participants with respect to diabetes prevention.