LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Cancer Survivor Program Graduation

In its sixth year of the national LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, the New Canaan YMCA recently held its most recent graduation event.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a research-based 12-week, small-group program designed for adult cancer survivors. The program is offered at no cost to any cancer survivor in this community. The program fulfils the important need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their new “normal.” Specially trained and certified Y Personal Trainers work with each participant to fit the program to their individual needs.

Four cancer survivors from our community participated in the 12-week program at the New Canaan YMCA this winter. Participants met twice a week at the Y working with a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA certified Personal Trainer. The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program focuses on educating participants about equipment use for cardio and strength training exercises, introducing group exercise classes, and encouraging participants to use the wellness center outside of meeting times throughout the 12-week session. The group enjoyed working out and interacting with each other, trying Tai Chi, Qigong, and Pilates based on their interests, learning meditation and relaxation exercises, stretching, and more.

At the graduation event, one of the participants shared, “Thank you for the LIVESTRONG program and especially for our trainers Deb and Eva. They were awesome! It was very helpful to be in a class with other cancer survivors, they were very supportive of one another.”

Another graduate shared, “I am very grateful to have been able to participate in the LIVESTRONG program. With the instructor’s guidance, I feel more confident with many aspects of exercise. I feel better and stronger in and out of the gym.”

“The LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program has been by far the most rewarding experience in my professional life,” shared Eva Saint, Director of Wellness at the Y, “I am so proud of each individual who goes through this program, growing healthier and stronger in mind, body, and spirit.”

Coming into the new year, the New Canaan YMCA certified nine new LIVESTRONG at the YMCA instructors, expanding the capacity of the program to continue serving cancer survivors throughout the community as a whole.

To date, over 100 of cancer survivors have graduated from the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program at the New Canaan YMCA. “With knowledgeable instructors, the LIVESTRONG program at the New Canaan YMCA allowed me to feel stronger and healthier while connecting with fellow cancer survivors,” commented a past participant. The program is available in over 800 Y communities throughout the country and has helped more than 70,000 cancer survivors. The program is available to any cancer survivor within the community and is offered at no cost. The next session of LIVESTRONG at the YMCA will begin in February. To learn more about the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program at the New Canaan YMCA, contact Nicki Jezairian at 203-920-1657 or njezairian@newcanaanymca.org.