Led by Mayor Tommy Battle and the City’s Parks & Recreation Department, Healthy Huntsville is sponsored by the following non-profit organizations: City of Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville City Schools, HudsonAlpha, and the Huntsville-Madison County Health Department. These organizations are working with the community to offer FREE programs throughout the year to help educate our citizens on wellness and good physical health.
WHY HEALTHY HUNTSVILLE?
Alabama has the sixth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, and the sixteenth highest obesity rate for youth ages 10 to 17. Alabama’s adult obesity rate is currently 36.2%, up from 22.6% in 2000 and from 11.2% in 1990, according to Alabama Public Health. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Alabama, and Healthy Huntsville wants to lead the change.
“It takes time, but a lot can happen in a few months,” said Mayor Battle. “A person can lose 10 or 15 pounds, they can begin to make better food choices, and they can get off that couch.”
According to Battle, Huntsville can no longer afford to ignore the impact that obesity has on the quality of our lives and our health care spending.
“We want to be the catalyst for change and to show our citizens that there is a better way. We already know that Huntsville is one of the smartest places to live in the country. If we can raise awareness about the serious health risk that obesity has on the quality and longevity of our lives and how easily those extra pounds can lead to diabetes, then we can also make Huntsville one of the fittest places.”
HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
Healthy Huntsville focuses on the core concepts of nutrition and exercise to encourage our residents to embrace healthy lifestyles. What are some of Healthy Huntsville’s signature events that can encourage you and your family to be active?
- Maintain, Don’t Gain provides tips, tricks and motivation to maintain a healthy weight, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve
- Scale Back Alabama, the annual statewide weight loss challenge begins each January
- Free Saturday workout classes in Big Spring Park East, hikes and yoga at the Hayes Nature Preserve, nutrition classes and exercise instruction in community centers
- The Double Helix Dash 5K walk/run through HudsonAlpha’s McMillian Park
- Walking Challenges with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama including National Walk@Lunch Day in April, and signature walks in the fall at the Huntsville Botanical Garden and with Arts Huntsville around Downtown
- The Mayor’s Bike Ride in May to promote Bike Safety Month and encourage different forms of exercise
- Fitness in the Park takes place every Saturday at 9 a.m. in May and June and features a different type of one-hour fitness class for free
- Nutrition classes taught by registered dietician nutritionists in partnership with Huntsville Hospital Wellness Centers
- Fitness events and activities through the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at centers and locations throughout the City
These events and more are available to you and your family! To stay up-to-date on the latest Healthy Huntsville happenings, go to the Healthy Huntsville calendar and follow Healthy Huntsville on Facebook.
For more information, please contact Ashley Polesak in the Parks & Recreation Department.