Fresno Community Blue and Green Spaces Program Opens School Pools


Latino Health pools blue space swimming

Schools in Fresno, CA (52.8% Latino) opened their green and blue spaces to the public. Green spaces are parks, playgrounds, sports fields and other outdoor play spaces. Blue spaces are swimming pools, lakes and rivers. Latino kids lack safe green and blue spaces, thus face higher rates of chronic disease, drowning, and drowning related injuries compared to white kids. In June 2016, the Fresno Parks, After School, Recreation, and Community Services Department (PARCS) started a new Weekend Recreation and Fitness Program (WRFP) to get help kids and families stay more active. With a $1.2 million dollar budget from the City of Fresno, Fresno Unified School District, and Central Unified School District, they opened school facilities, like playgrounds, sports fields and green space, ...

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Outdoor Recreation is Essential to the American Economy


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Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets and fees ($51 billion), and nearly as much on snow sports ($53 billion) as on internet access ($54 billion), according to a 2012 report by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). OIA predicts that Americans spend $646 billion each year on outdoor recreation, which supports 6.1 million direct jobs and $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. Outdoor recreation includes gear, such as apparel, footwear, tents, and bikes; vehicles, such as boats, RVs, and motorcycles; and trips and travel. In many communities, it's outdoor recreation that provides steady employment. "Advancements in technical apparel, footwear and equipment are driving innovation and entrepreneurism, while ...

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New Orleans Mayor to Address Climate Change Through Walking


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New Orleans has a lot at stake when it comes to climate change. Among many strategies to reduce dependence on carbon-fired power and increase locally generated solar energy, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced plans in July 2017 to address climate change by redesigning regional public transit so 50% of trips are taken by modes other than driving, such as walking or biking. “It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change,” Landrieu wrote introducing the new climate action strategy for the city. “We must end our contribution to it.” Not only can improving sidewalks and bike lanes make it safer and easier not to travel by car, but making routes and public transit more relevant and useful can also address racial inequity and health ...

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How I Walk: A Campaign to Rebrand the Word Walking


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Walking is critical for accessibility. One-third of all American are not able to drive, either because they are too old, too young, too poor, or have some form of disability. People with disabilities are the only minority group you don't have to be born into. Meaning, at any time, any one of us could become part of this group due to injury or illness. The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) was founded in 1999 as a resource center on health promotion for people with disability. They launched a campaign in 2015 to rebrand the word walking. Walking is particularly important for the elderly, people with disability, and lower-income people who have fewer opportunities to participate in sports of formal exercise programs.  The How I Walk ...

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Fitbit Champs: What More Steps Means for Diabetes, Obesity


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How many steps do you get each day? Does your step number relate to you risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease? In the only six states where people take 8,500+ steps a day, people also have lower heart disease and diabetes risk than the U.S. average, according to Fitbit data. On the flip side, in the only six states where people take fewer than 7,800 steps a day, people also had higher lower heart disease and diabetes risk than the U.S. average. These correlations might not be shocking. “Obviously, the more exercise you do, the better it is for your heart health,” said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, told The Washington Post. But it's not clear exactly how many steps are needed, and whether ...

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Detroit Partnership Combines Literacy & Swimming for Kids


Latino Health Swimming Pools

Since 2010, Detroit Swims has taught more than 5800 kids how to swim and aims to teach all kids in the Metro Detroit. Swimming is excellent for mental and physical health, as well as academic achievement, but of f the 120,000 children in the city, it’s estimated 100,000 of them can’t swim, according to one source. Detroit Swims is a nonprofit started by lifeguards in 2010 at the Boll Family YMCA to reduce disparities in swim ability.  The lifeguards contributed $2000 out of their paycheck to teach the first 35 kids how to swim. Latino kids across the country often lack access to pools and swimming lessons, thus face higher rates of drowning and obesity related chronic disease compared to white kids. Detroit Swims has expanded to over six locations, and works with local ...

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Three Amazing Ways to Save the Summer for Kids!


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Summertime means fun time for kids. Well...it's supposed to. For Latino kids, it can also lessen already minimal opportunities to get healthy food or access safe places to play, according to Salud America! research. That's why we are spotlighting three heroes who are saving summer for Latino families! Melissa & Mary Rescuing Fruit for San Antonio Families Many families in San Antonio (63% Latino) live in food deserts. Ironically, there are lots of fruit trees in people's yards—but fruit often falls and rots. UTSA grad students Melissa Federspill and Mary Minor saw this waste. They wanted to harvest fruit trees to share with families. So they mapped local fruit trees online. They met with neighbors. They recruited volunteers to pick trees. And they contacted ...

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Walking Toward Equity


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By Emilie Bahr America Walks The car was once seen in this country as the ultimate vehicle of freedom. It was a symbol of unfettered access and mobility that could take an occupant wherever he or she wanted to go in a manner that was glamorous, convenient and fast. Yet roughly 100 years after our automotive experiment began, the thing that was once an expression of status and a tool in attaining the American Dream is losing some of its luster—while walkable communities are experiencing a comeback. This subtle yet meaningful paradigm shift is taking shape in a context in which the unintended effects of our car dependency have become undeniable. These include soaring rates of obesity and chronic disease; communities isolated from access to such essential needs as jobs, ...

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Although Disparities Still Exist, More Kids Know How to Swim


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The summer swim seasons begins this weekend for most of the country, but many kids have no to low swim ability. In fact, 40% of Caucasian children, 45% of Hispanic children, and nearly 64% of African-American children have no to low swimming ability, according to a new study conducted by the University of Memphis and University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Although there is a 5-10% improvement in overall swimming ability, 87% of kids with no or low swim ability plan to go swimming this summer at least once, putting them at risk for drowning. What can your community do to boost support for swimming lessons to prevent the horrific tragedy of drowning? Learn more about the complexities of swimming: Swimming may be the most promising physical activity to get Latino kid's active. ...

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Parents Help Save Pool in Low-Income Minneapolis Area


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Hannah Lieder, foster mother and founder of Minneapolis Swims, has been working since 2010 to keep open the local Phillips Pool in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. Why? Lieder knows that children living in low-income, Latino, or minority neighborhoods have historically lacked convenient access to physical activity spaces, particularly swimming pools, compared to white or high-income neighborhoods. These social and environmental inequalities contribute to disparities in drowning rates, physical activity levels, health outcomes and academic achievement. Phillips Pool was in disrepair and under constant threat to be concreted over. Now, six years later, Lieder’s legacy lives on, through Denny Bennett, as crews will break ground on the Phillips Aquatics ...

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