YMCA hopes to help more Roanoke Valley residents get active and healthy in 2016

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ROANOKE (WSLS) - For years the Roanoke Valley has been named one of the most unhealthy places in the state, according to studies done by Carilion Clinic. With the new year approaching, residents to see the negative health trends turn around in 2016. One local organization hopes to help more people live healthy lives in the new year.

The start of a new year is just days away which means it's that time of year when more people are thinking about their health. Some resolve to get into shape in the new year.

"We know the beginning of the year people are really embarking on their New Year's resolutions to be fit and healthier," said Kim Bratic, YMCA Director of Communications.

The YMCA of Roanoke Valley is taking unique steps to get more people active while also addressing the communities specific health needs. Organizers said their efforts include programs to combat obesity and lower residents risk of diabetes.

"In January we are starting the diabetes prevention program for people who have type 2 diabetes," said Bratic. "We found that if they do this program, they are 56% less likely to not develop diabetes."

In addition, the YMCA is also offering programs for our growing population of older adults,

"We are offering a program called "Enhanced Fitness" she said. "This is a chair based physical activity program so it makes it attainable for people who have chronic disease and aren't mobile to really get that exercise".

By keeping people of all ages on track to reach their fitness goals, staff at the YMCA hope 2016 is the year they see obesity and diabetes rates in the Roanoke Valley go down, while the number of people living active lifestyles go up.

For more information: http://www.ymcaroanoke.org/