Y Love Your Heart?

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The CaringTimes blog of Sarasota & Manatee Counties is designed to be a resource for families caring for adults with disabilities and seniors. Periodically, members of the Griswold Home Care of Sarasota and Manatee Counties team will be interviewing members of the local community. Through select interviews our goal is to be a resource to families to find education and assistance in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. This week we focus on the Venice YMCA.

“Other Y’s are looking at us,” says Julie Hunt. “Our Y is unique. It has a few programs that are only at the Venice Y, including the Cardiac Care Program.” The Cardiac Care Program is, well, just as it sounds. People who have experienced heart attacks, gone through cardiac rehabilitation or people who are concerned about their heart are welcome to join. Julie Hunt, who was a cardiac rehabilitation nurse for 22 years, started this program at the Venice Y. In addition to her experience as a nurse, Julie is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. With a background in nursing and personal training, Julie has designed a program to help maintain a healthy heart after rehabilitation.

Julie has over 300 clients that she meets with individually, guiding them through cardiovascular and strength training. Julie has a joy and a passion for her clients and she is willing to go as far as utilizing the EKG – reserved for members of the YMCA. While I was interviewing Julie, she saw several of her clients in the fitness center walking on a treadmill. Julie also said a few of them meet together in the morning at the Y, do their work out and then eat breakfast at the smoothie bar. After spending the better part of an hour with Julie in her office, it seems to be a great program for accountability and definitely fills a much-needed role in the community.

Nearly two thirds of her clients are seasonal Florida residents. Even if you or your loved one does not live in Florida year round, Julie can still work with your schedule. The Cardiac Care Program is also very affordable. In many instances, clients who have gone through rehabilitation have exhausted their insurance, but still need guidance and accountability (to avoid a return trip to the hospital). This can be a great, inexpensive alternative. The Venice Y also has a Diabetes Prevention Program. Participants have to either be diagnosed with pre-diabetes or be at high risk to join. It is a 16-week program where individuals learn about nutrition, physical activity, and stress from a lifestyle coach. Everyone needs a varying level of care, so it’s reassuring that a community such as Venice is so well equipped to provide that care. Come check out the Venice Y, and start loving your heart.

For more information about the Cardiac Club at the Venice YMCA click here.

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