Class Shows that Exercise Can be Fun and Beneficial
A new collaboration with ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca, the Waupaca Recreational Center and the Health and Fitness Headquarters of Waupaca aims to show how fun exercise can be, while providing health benefits that last a lifetime, especially for those with diabetes or who may be pre-diabetic.
Diabetes is a growing issue. “We see a lot of patients who have several risk factors for diabetes,” said Ellen Wenberg, MD, medical director for the diabetes education program at Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. “It’s one of those diseases that can be well managed if you make some adjustments early on.”
The new pre-diabetes lifestyle behavior change program starting Jan. 19 is designed to help participants achieve a desired weight loss to help prevent the onset of diabetes. “The class is modeled after the diabetes prevention program, which is an evidence-based program,” said Anne Menzies, MSRD, certified diabetes educator, who is coordinating the program, which will run three times a year. “That program is an extensive program which meets with participants for (over) 22 sessions. We have condensed the program into eight sessions, so more of an abbreviated program.”
Each class is led by a certified diabetes educator with expertise in diabetes management and prevention. “I think it is an amazing opportunity in Waupaca to have a resource like this to help prevent diabetes and learn some lifestyle management,” said Dr. Wenberg. “This can augment recommendations that patients are hearing from their physician in the office.”
The eight-week class starts in the classroom with education and support, followed by time with a personal trainer from Health and Fitness for the exercise portion. Each participant will receive a guided orientation to the gym. “Health and Fitness Headquarters of Waupaca is excited to partner with ThedaCare Physicians of Waupaca on such an important effort,” said Randy O’Connell, program center director. “Prevention is the backbone of our wellness message in all areas of concern, including diabetes. Our knowledgeable staff is eager to help those enrolled on their individual path to prevention and wellness. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have a profound impact on a person's overall health. We will demonstrate how fun and easy that 30 minutes can be.”
Participants get “to learn about these exercises in a supervised and structured setting, rather than trying to do some things on their own which may or may not work,” said Dr. Wenberg, adding that “having the guidance and expertise of the trainers is very invaluable.”
A similar class offered in the Fox Valley has yielded many successes, said Menzies. “Our hope is that with weekly classes for eight weeks we will have great outcomes,” she said. “We will be tracking lipids and HgbA1C if patient is willing to come to DAT for testing and weight loss.”
Dr. Wenberg said the program provides participants with the tools they need to make a change for life. It “gives people the tools and knowledge to prevent developing diabetes or slow the progression of the disease by taking control of diet and exercise, both things they can do without needing to be on medication,” she said.
The class meets from 5:30-7 p.m. Mondays starting January 19 for eight weeks at the Waupaca Recreation Center, lower level in the Senior Center Card Room. The cost is $80 for all eight sessions and must be paid in full at registration. Participants who complete the eight week course will also be given a free one month membership to the Health and Fitness Headquarters of Waupaca. Class size is limited so call ThedaCare Central Scheduling: 920-738-6521 option 1 to reserve a spot.
Riverside Medical Center is a 25-bed acute-care, critical access hospital located in Waupaca. Riverside Medical Center has previously been rated among the “100 Top Hospitals™” in the United States by Solucient, Inc. and for 2012-2014 has been named in to the top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for financial stability by the National Rural Health Association. Riverside Medical Center was founded in 1955 and employs more than 300 people, making it one of the five largest employers in the area.
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Berlin Memorial Hospital and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.