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Family Y program strengthens cancer survivors

Posted: August 14, 2012 - 3:57pm  |  Updated: August 15, 2012 - 12:39pm
Phyllis Horne (left) and Elizabeth Leadbetter (right) are pictured with LIVESTRONG program instructor Linda Hamilton at a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA session in North Augusta. SPECIAL
Phyllis Horne (left) and Elizabeth Leadbetter (right) are pictured with LIVESTRONG program instructor Linda Hamilton at a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA session in North Augusta. SPECIAL

 

The North Augusta Family Y and other area branches are getting ready to start the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA fall session that helps cancer survivors regain their strength – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to get back into exercise with guidance from the leaders and the support of a group of survivors,” said Phyllis Horne, a previous program participant. “Having a commitment to be in this group motivated me to be there twice a week. I could feel my body getting stronger and my energy increase.”

She said the class was a blessing and members have become her friends.

The 12-week program kicks off Sept. 10 at the North Augusta Y, Aug. 21 at the Augusta South branch and Sept. 4 at the Marshall branch in Evans. Classes meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays in North Augusta and from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the other sites.

The program offers individualized workouts from the treadmill, to weights, and some yoga to calm the spirit.

“It’s like a group personal training,” said Janet Thornburg, who helps lead the North Augusta program.

Living through and beyond cancer is relatively new and research is now looking at that, Thornburg said. Lance Armstrong looked at how health plays a role in treatment and he began the LIVESTRONG program.

Thornburg said program applicants are reviewed and their doctor is consulted to make sure they can handle the entire program and then to help identify how much exercise each person is capable of completing.

Participants will initially go through testing that measures flexibility, balance, strength and aerobic capacity to help come up with a program specific to them.

“We come up with a program for them based on the American College of Sports Medicine guideline for cancer survivors,” Thornburg said.

Each session is open to 10 people and others are put on a waiting list for the next session, Thornburg said.

“We have seen people come into the program, especially those in treatment just getting out, seem to be such broken spirits,” she said. “Part of it (the program) is we give them permission to regain their health, emotionally, spiritually, physically and even socially.”

Thornburg said she sees major improvement in participants’ endurance, strength, mobility and flexibility during the 12-week course.

“You don’t have to be a Y member,” she said. “This is for the community.”

The preferred deadline to let Thornburg know of interest to participate in the free program is Friday so that they can begin designing individualized programs for each applicant, and make sure it is approved by their doctor, prior to the class start date.

“I would highly recommend the LIVESTRONG class to anyone recovering from cancer,” Horne said. “It helps you get your life back to normal, to feeling better and enjoying life.”

For program information, contact Thornburg at jthornburg@thefamilyy.org or call (803) 349-8101.

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