DATE: March 5, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Mills
WHAT: BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Parks and Recreation Division and the Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) will bring the free program Walk With Ease, for ages 55 and up, back to five Broward County park sites (listed below). The program, which was first held in County parks in 2012, will get under way again from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 20 (the first day of spring). This evidence-based program encourages older adults to start walking for their health. Attendees at the kickoff will have an opportunity to register and learn more about the program, which this year takes the theme “Spring Into Good Health.”
“Walking is an activity almost everyone can participate in,” says Broward County Parks Director Dan West. “It’s simple and basic, and the health benefits are enormous.”
Through the foundation’s five-year, $7.5 million initiative, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, launched in 2008, the organization is helping older adults to achieve and maintain strength. Walk With Ease was created by the Arthritis Foundation and is designed to increase physical activity for those ages 55 and up, regardless of whether they have arthritis. Participants will meet with a trained leader three times a week during this six-week session and will also receive a guidebook with chapters on health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies. At the completion of their session, walkers will receive a Walk With Ease T-shirt.
“If you can be on your feet for 10 minutes, you can have success with this program,” says HFSF President and CEO Steven E. Marcus, Ed.D. “This self-guided program, which can help to reduce arthritis pain while increasing a participant’s balance and strength, reflects the type of activities promoted through Health Foundation of South Florida’s Healthy Eating Active Communities focus area.”
Health Foundation of South Florida is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. By advancing health solutions, the foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents, especially the underserved. Since 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $95 million in grants and program support. For more information on HFSF, call 305-374-7200 or visit www.HFSF.org. For information on the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, visit www.HealthyAgingSF.org.
WHERE: Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317; 954-357-5135
Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-357-8801
Roosevelt Gardens Park, 2841 N.W. 11th St., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-357-8700
T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood 33021; 954-357-8811
Vista View Park, 4001 S.W. 142nd Ave., Davie 33330; 954-357-8898
WHEN: Six weeks, beginning Thursday, March 20, 9-11 a.m. Parks may offer additional six-week sessions depending on the needs of the communities they serve.
WHO: For ages 55 and up.
HOW: Preregistration is required. Register at the park of your choice.
For further information, call the park of your choice (see listing above) or Shari Gantman at the Health Foundation of South Florida at 305-374-9199.
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas at various stages of development. Facilities include water parks, campgrounds, a target range, a stadium, a skate park, an observatory, mountain bike trails, an educational farm with stables, and a velodrome and other sports facilities. Hours and fees vary by location. For more information, visit Broward.org/Parks.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least five (5) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event.