Together We Thrive: Improve the Quality of your Life in this Free Diabetes  Self-Management class at Countryside YMCA

This Together We Thrive article is sourced from the Countryside YMCA. Original publishing can be found here

March 23 is Diabetes Alert Day, and Countryside YMCA is encouraging the community to know their risk of Type Two diabetes and to register now for a free, six-week diabetes self-management program starting April 1. Diabetics, pre-diabetics and their caregivers can find support during this class offered by Countryside YMCA in partnership with the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio. You do not have to be a YMCA member to take this class.

For those with diabetes, managing the disease can be challenging. Healthy eating, physical activity, monitoring your condition, taking medication, and reducing the risk for complications are all daily aspects of diabetes management. Participants will learn ways to maintain their health and manage diabetes through problem solving and building self-confidence.

The class will run for six weeks starting April 1 to May 13 on Thursdays from 10 am  - 12:30 pm. Participants meet virtually or over the phone and learn how to overcome barriers to healthy living and how to set manageable, attainable goals. Each week they will report on their progress and make goals for the next week. With the help of Countryside Y's two experienced, certified instructors, an easy-to-read book and the support of their peers, participants learn ways to overcome barriers to healthy living.

The class is open to anyone with Diabetes (1 or 2), pre-diabetes, or a friend or family of those who have the condition. Limited space is available, and interested participants should contact Cara Ebel at or 513-932-1424 ext 185.

“Type 2 diabetes is a disease of lifestyle which affects not just the person but entire families. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes can help people improve their overall health and manage their diabetes,” said Cara Ebel, ACE-Certified Health Coach and instructor at the Y.   

The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that almost 10% of the US population -30.3 million people – has diabetes. Of these, 23.8% don’t even know they have diabetes. Another 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

“Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” said Ebel.

Tips to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes
Countryside YMCA is a leading non-profit providing healthy living tips and classes throughout the year. Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

  • Reduce portion sizes of the foods you eat that may be high in fat or calories.
  • Keep a food diary to increase awareness of eating patterns and behaviors.
  • Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Incorporate more activity in your day, like taking the stairs or parking farther away from your destination.
  • Speak to your doctor about diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of the disease or are overweight.

Learn more healthy living tips at


Countryside YMCA- one of the world’s largest YMCAs – is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the Warren County community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For more than 40 years, Countryside YMCA has embodied the Christian principles that help people achieve a balance of spirit, mind and body. All are welcome to experience the unmatched facilities, outreach, and varied programs available only at the Y.