The YMCA of the North partners with United Health Foundation to build healthier communities through the YMCA Healthy Kids initiative, Heritage Park YMCA, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and the YMCA Gathering event for seniors.
The YMCA Healthy Kids initiative motivates kids to be more physically active, and promotes positive behavior change through hands-on nutrition education and healthy eating. The program emphasizes experiential learning and provides opportunities for fun, active play and physical activity. United Health Foundation’s support has enabled the YMCA to reach more than 2,000 kids over three years in a growing program that directly addresses chronic diseases and health issues like childhood obesity. The program bridges gaps, breaks down barriers and builds healthier communities.
In addition to supporting youth wellness, United Health Foundation supports YMCA programs for adults and seniors. The YMCA at Heritage Park in North Minneapolis serves adults 40 and older with enriching fitness programs designed specifically for them. Programs promote independence and self-reliance through exercise classes, volunteer opportunities and more. For the past two years United Health Foundation has been a top sponsor of the YMCA Gathering, an event that brings 1,000 YMCA members 55 and older to the Minneapolis Convention Center for a day of education, activity and fellowship.
United Health Foundation also supports the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is designed to reduce the risk of diabetes among people who have been identified by their doctors as having pre-diabetes or having a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Participants meet in a small group setting to learn more about making changes to exercise and nutrition and to track their progress. The program has been proven to cut participants’ chances of developing diabetes by more than 50 percent.
Thanks to the support of United Health Foundation, the YMCA is delivering programs that break down barriers and empower community members of all ages and backgrounds to be healthier, happier and stronger.