Health Innovations

The Y is one of the nation's leading non-profits in improving the nation's health. By working with individuals and families, organizations and communities, the Y's health innovation efforts support people by reducing their risk for chronic disease and reclaiming their health when they've been affected by one. Contact your local YMCA for their specific Health Innovations offerings and meeting times. 

The Y offers the following health programs:

Cardiac Care

The Cardiac Club Maintenance Program is a wellness program for adults with cardiac or pulmonary histories. The Cardiac Club Maintenance Program is a wellness program for adults with cardiac or pulmonary histories. Under the supervision of our Cardiac Care Specialist, these individuals will expand their ability and capacity for exercise. Each potential participant receives one free week at the YMCA after their initial consultation. There is a one-time $60 program fee, which entitles you to several individual instructional sessions with our Cardiac Care Specialist. Physician approval is required to begin this program. To begin your program or learn more, contact our Cardiac Care specialist at 941.375-9123. 

Diabetes Prevention

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is a 12-month program developed to reduce the risk of diabetes in individuals showing pre-diabetic symptoms. Each week’s one-hour session is facilitated by a trained Lifestyle Coach and will cover nutrition, physical activity, and behavior modification to help participants achieve the program’s two main goals. Sessions will guide participants in ways to eat healthy while eating out, manage stress, and stay motivated after the program’s completion. During the first six months of the program, participants attend weekly sessions followed by 6 months of monthly sessions to round out a full year of support!

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Diabetes Prevention Program has shown that with lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction, a person with pre-diabetic symptoms can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. The program strives to help participants achieve two primary goals:

  • Reduce body weight by 7%
  • Engage in regular physical activity
For more information, call the Diabetes Message Line and leave your name and phone number, 941.492.9622 x299


LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a no-cost, 12-week YMCA-funded and YMCA-managed program for adult cancer survivors. Classes are twice weekly for 75-minutes per class. Registration will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Certified YMCA fitness instructors will deliver the physical activity portions of the program. Instructors are trained in the elements of cancer, post-rehab exercise, and supportive cancer care. Participants will work with certified cancer fitness specialists in a small group.

Our program is about saying ‘goodbye’ to being a patient and saying ‘hello’ to being a healthy, whole person and is recommended for survivors who have recently finished or are going through their cancer treatment. This research-based program offers people affected with cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Participants work with YMCA staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem. In addition to physical benefits, LIVESTRONG focuses on the emotional well-being of survivors and their families by providing a supportive community where people impacted by cancer can connect during treatment and beyond. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind, and body. The YMCA's goal is to support survivors through a program that provides them with a positive way to learn how to increase their physical activity. Additional benefits will include reducing the severity of therapy and treatment side effects, preventing unwanted weight changes, and improving energy levels and self-esteem. A final goal of the program will be to assist participants in developing their own physical fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle.

Participants will be invited to participate in several components of the program, including:

  1. Group exercise classes
  2. Individualized training and exercise development sessions
  3. Social engagement activities, and
  4. Educational seminars and guest speakers

LIVESTRONG is offered at our Venice, Englewood, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Fort Myers and Bonita Springs with new classes forming throughout the year. Survivors of any type of cancer, at any point in their cancer journey from diagnosis to 30+ years post-diagnosis, may participate in the program. This program is completely free and includes an individual membership to the Y for the 12-weeks of the program. For more information about dates and to schedule an Intake Interview email, or leave your contact info at 941-492-9622 x 156.

Moving for Better Balance

Moving For Better Balance is a 12-week evidence-based falls prevention program, led by a Moving for Better Balance trained instructor. This program focuses on improving mental cognitive and physical functional ability especially balance to reduce fall-related risks and fall frequency. Moving for Better Balance is conducted in a small group setting of 10-12 adults providing a safe and comfortable environment. Sessions take place twice per week for 60 minutes and continue for 12 weeks supplemented by weekly at-home practice by each program participant. YMCA Membership is not required. 

The principles and movements of Tai Chi are used to help older adults increase their strength, improve their balance, and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities. The program protocol consists of a core 8-form routine and a subroutine of integrated therapeutic movements derived from the Yang-style of Tai Chi. The movements progress from easy to more difficult which collectively involve a set of simple, rhythmic Tai Chi-based actions. Moving For Better Balance challenges limitations in balance and gait and addresses these limitations through a set of controlled, progressively designed exercises. The program also provides other health benefits that contribute to healthy aging in a safe structured environment that engages older adults in a social setting they may not have had previously. Moving For Better Balance may also help alleviate the symptoms associated with other chronic diseases and conditions. Classes are designed to provide participants with opportunities to interact with one another which creates an important support system, a stronger community, and supports the participants' overall health goals and well-being.

This program focuses on improving mental cognitive and physical functional ability especially balance to reduce fall-related risks and fall frequency. Moving for Better Balance has been shown to: Improve balance and stability, Increase muscle strength, Improve flexibility and mobility, Improve memory and cognition, Improve self-confidence, Reduce stress, Improve mental and emotional well-being and prevent falls.


  • Must be willing to engage in a 12-week falls prevention program
  • Consult your primary care physician before joining the program. You will be signing a medical clearance form.
  • Strong personal desire and commitment to participate in the program (A minimum attendance of 80% of the classes).
  • Give permission for a Moving For Better Balance representative to contact your physician or healthcare provider if necessary.

Contact your local YMCA for registration and to schedule a brief pre-screening. Interested and qualified participants will be added to the waitlist. Days and times vary for each YMCA location. To find out more information regarding this program, criteria for participating and how to register, contact or call 941-492-9622 ext 299.

Parkinson's Programs

Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson's disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options. Aside from medication or surgery, many physicians advocate for exercise to improve or reduce the tremors or difficulty with movement to keep the body and mind nimble. As long as your physician approves, people of all abilities and fitness levels can participate in our Parkinson’s classes. We offer Pedaling for Parkinson’s and Parkinson's Exercise Program at different locations. Classes are offered at no cost to Y members. Non-members enjoy the first eight (8) classes at no cost. Additional classes may be purchased via punch card or by becoming a member. Participants wanting to join either the Pedaling for Parkinson’s or the Parkinson's Exercise Programs class must complete the packet of forms available here. A signed Physician’s Consent form is mandatory. Once the paperwork is complete, call the Y to schedule an Intake Interview and start the program.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s - Pedaling a bicycle at a rapid pace - optimally, 80-90 revolutions per minute - helps reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic showed that simply pedaling a bicycle for an hour at least twice a week could reduce symptoms by as much as 35 percent. (Jay Alberts, Ph.D.) 

During the one-hour class, an instructor on a stationary bicycle will lead participants through a relatively fast-paced cycling routine to reach the optimal cycling speed or revolutions per minute (RPM). Another coach will circulate through the class to provide assistance or encouragement as needed. This program is appropriate for patients in stages I – III. Stage IV patients are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Participants must wear a heart rate monitor to class. Polar H7 monitors can be purchased at the Venice Y front desk or at local retailers or online.

Parkinson's Exercise Program - Lead by a certified and experienced nurse, this class takes place in the group exercise room using light hand weights, bands, chairs, and balls. Lead by a certified and experienced nurse, this class takes place in the group exercise room using light hand weights, bands, chairs, and balls. The class is designed to help develop and maintain strength, flexibility, balance and voice integrity. The focus is on amplifying movements and improving gait, posture, and speech. This program is appropriate for patients in stages I – IV. Classes are free to members. Non-members will be given a punch card for 8 free classes to try. 

Download Brochure


Venice YMCA
Pedaling for Parkinson's

10:30 am - 12 pm

941-492-9622 x299

Bonita Springs YMCA
Pedaling for Parkinson's

12:30 - 2 pm

Email Us

Englewood YMCA
Parkinson's Exercise Program  

Monday/ Thursday 
1:30 – 2:30 pm

941-492-9622 x299