YMCA and City Programs Keep Residents Moving

May 24, 2012
By

The East Boston YMCA and the City of Boston are teaming up to expand the city’s NeighborWalk program to help more Eastie residents get outside and get active.

The city, through a grant to the Y, will begin supporting a free walking program twice a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. residents can sign up for the free NeighborWalk program.

“Thanks to a mini grant from the Boston Public Health Commission, people of all ages– and non Y members– are encouraged to join an organized walk from the Y around the park twice a week, “said Y Executive Director Joey Cuzzi. “Though it’s just a 10 week program designed to encourage and introduce folks to walking as part of a healthy lifestyle, the Y will continue to offer walking clubs as part of our weekly health and wellness schedule for adults and families.”

In its ten years, NeighborWalk has helped hundreds of people get active and get out in their communities as well as stick to their fitness goals. The community walking groups are one of the many free or low cost resources available through the recently launched Boston Moves for Health campaign.  As part of Boston Moves, Mayor Thomas Menino has challenged the city to collectively lose one million pounds and move ten million miles.

“This is another excellent way people in the city of Boston can get off their feet and move,” said Menino. “The health benefits of walking are enormous, and programs like this put our residents and employees well on their way to losing a million pounds this year.”

There is substantial evidence showing that walking helps control or even prevent many chronic diseases like Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancer, high blood pressure, and depression. It can help you maintain a healthy weight; promote bone, joint and muscle health; lower total cholesterol; and increase good cholesterol.

“We know that getting to a healthy weight and being active is so important for overall health, and that walking can help control or even reduce many diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “But we also know how tough it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle on your own. NeighborWalk is a great way for folks to support each other in reaching their healthy goals, getting active, and getting out in their communities,”

If you are interested in joining the Y’s walking group contact Gail Klimas or Delores Urciuoli at 617-413-8321 or at gklimas@ymcaboston.org.

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