Jumpstart diabetes exercise programme takes off

Jumpstart is a lifestyle exercise programme for people who have been diagnosed with Type 1, Type 2 and pre-diabetes.

More than 500 participants are part of this joint initiative between YMCA and Pharmaco NZ Ltd.

Christopher Kanuta is 41 years of age.  He was diagnosed with diabetes and decided to get proactive about it.

Kanuta says, “Jumpstart was introduced to me because of diabetes and that's the main reason I could learn more about diabetes.”

There are 14 recreation centres in Auckland and Hamilton that deliver the 10-week programme, Jumpstart.

Fitness instructor Richard Barrett says, “We're just trying to teach them healthy active lifestyles, just basically getting moving.”

Coach Dylan Holtom says, “I guess just the educational side as well.  It doesn't always have to be involved with fitness it can be nutrition as well- so they get the whole healthy lifestyle.”

According to the diabetes.org.nz website, over 250,000 people on record in NZ have been diagnosed with diabetes, and nearly 40,000 of them are Māori.

Pharmaco representative Chandra Selvadurai says, “It’s something that can be managed really well and if you manage your nutrition, manage your exercise and make small changes in lifestyle- it makes a huge difference.'

Peter Fergusson, of the YMCA, says ““We are very community based. We are not threatening.  You don't have to look great in lycra, in fact the majority of people that come along to our sites and centres are just your joe normal average public.”

Kanuta, “Once you get involved in the jumpstart, it becomes like a whanau, like a team effort, a big group that all like help each other out so that’s the main thing.”

Christopher wants people who are affected by diabetes to look at programmes like this.

“There's always help out there, there's always going to be someone out there.  Let more people know about diabetes and what it does and to those who are struggling with diabetes, there is a lot of help out there for them.”