Funding For New Program To Help Families Improve Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Area youth and families will now have access to a free comprehensive 12-week, 24 session program fighting childhood obesity, thanks to a grant from the Alexander Eastman Foundation. This program, known as Prescribe the Y, is a youth wellness initiative introduced at the YMCA of Greater Londonderry in July 2016. Designed for children ages 6 – 12 years with a BMI of 85% or higher, both child and parent attend classes with the goal of improving habits and overall health.
“Many studies show a direct link between physical activity, nutritional intake, fitness levels, weight problems, and academic performance,” commented Cindy Lafond, Association Director of Healthy Living Initiatives for The Granite YMCA. Throughout the twelve-week program, certified wellness coaches and other professionals educate children and parents on the importance and favorable impact that just 30 minutes of daily activity, better food choices, and preparation can have on stabilizing and/or decreasing Body Mass Index (BMI). A typical class features basic nutrition counseling, establishing healthy lifestyle goals, and a workout routine focused on cardiovascular activity and strength training.
The personalized and interactive program allows the Y staff to have a wide range of educational data topics to discuss with parents to help empower them to make family lifestyle changes that affect their children and overall family health. In addition, it also provides families with the support, guidance, and resources to establish those healthier eating patterns and a more physically active lifestyle.
“Now is the time for our community to lead the initiative to reduce the current levels of childhood obesity in NH and to improve the quality of life for our school children.” Added Ms. Lafond. Ms. Lafond and staff at The Granite YMCA work closely with area pediatricians to provide them with knowledge of the Prescribe the Y program and work them to enact family/child referrals. “I am thrilled to hear that the Y received this Grant,” commented Dr. Kerry Houston, a member of the YMCA of Greater Londonderry Advisory Board and local Pediatrician. “I am committed to working with other pediatricians to help bring this program to our local YMCA and excited about the overall impact it can have on the children in my care.”
The first twelve-week program will begin on April 17, 2017 taking place every Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. To learn more about the Prescribe the Y program or to enroll in the upcoming session, please contact Cindy Lafond at 603.232.8650 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be found at www.graniteymca.org. Financial assistance is available.
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women, and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2016, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at $1.63 million to 19,872 individuals. www.graniteymca.org