However, research has now demonstrated the importance of physical activity after a cancer diagnosis, during treatment and beyond. Physical activity is not only safe and possible, but can improve individuals’ physical functioning and quality of life, and reduce cancer-related fatigue.
In response to this new research, the YMCA has partnered with the Livestrong Foundation to offer the new program. The Peninsula Family YMCA, which has served the Point Loma, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach areas for more than 40 years, launched its first Livestrong at the YMCA session in July 2016. Now, almost one year since its inception, they have 27 graduates of the program.
Patrick Oberg, Peninsula Family YMCA’s health and wellness director, said: “Not only are we building relationships and getting referrals from multiple health care providers such as UC San Diego Moore’s Cancer Center, Scripps Hospital, and the VA, we have worked with Y members and other community members who have fought or are currently fighting cancer. Our trained instructors strive to bring a sense of normalcy back into every participant’s life through this free health and wellness based program by developing and guiding them through personal workout routines.”
The goals of the Livestrong at the YMCA program are to empower adult cancer survivors to take an active role in their own health by engaging in a strength and conditioning program and aligns with the Y’s mission to help all develop the spirit, mind and body. The Peninsula Family YMCA offers this free, 12-week program designed to meet the needs of adults with cancer before, during and after treatment. By focusing on health, rather than a disease, the Y wants to help cancer survivors move beyond illness to reclaim wellness in spirit, mind and body.
The program’s graduates feel that they have benefited from this unique YMCA program. One participant said, “[Livestrong at the YMCA] has helped me get back my dignity and my confidence and just feel good about myself again and feel like a human being.”
Another added that the program “has given me the opportunity to build up my strength and stamina to help me fight this horrible disease.”
The Peninsula Family YMCA’s next Livestrong session begins July 10 and they are looking for participants. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with or is a survivor of cancer, and wants to learn more about this unique program, contact Oberg at 619-226-8888.