West Essex YMCA launches free program for adults diagnosed with cancer

liv-ymca-livestrong-wLIVINGSTON, NJ — Adults who have or had cancer and their families are invited to enroll in a free 12-week wellness program that starts Oct. 4 at the West Essex YMCA.

The West Essex Y is launching LiveStrong at the YMCA, which has helped more than 41,000 cancer survivors nationwide regain stamina, strength and emotional well-being since its creation in 2007, according to the LiveStrong Foundation.

“We are committed to helping adults dealing with cancer reclaim their physical and emotional health, and to supporting their families,’’ West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores said in a press release.

LiveStrong at the YMCA participants will work with Y staff who went through specialized training in nutrition, exercise and supportive care for people diagnosed with cancer. The program also provides a supportive community in which people affected by cancer — including participants’ family members — can connect with one another. Participants will take two 75-minute classes per week, and they and their immediate family members can enjoy a free three-month YMCA family membership.

“There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise, healthy eating and emotional support improve outcomes for people who have endured cancer,” Brian Sheafer, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, said in the release.

Researchers from Yale University and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute released results from a study last year that found LiveStrong at the YMCA improved participants’ quality of life, increased their cardiovascular endurance and decreased cancer-related fatigue. Other studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer recurrence.

Advanced registration is required for the program, and participants need clearance from their doctor. For more information, visit metroymcas.org/LIVESTRONG or contact wellness director Barbara Santola at bsantola@metroymcas.org or 973-992-7500.